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    Since vaccinations were developed, diseases such as polio, small pox, measles, and mumps that once affected millions of people are now extremely rare in many countries or eradicated altogether. While most vaccinations are given to children, several are important for adults to continue to receive as they age. Read >>
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Health and Fitness News

Adults Need Shots, Too

What vaccinations do you need?

Since vaccinations were first developed, the occurrence of certain diseases has been reduced drastically. Diseases such as polio, small pox, measles, and mumps that once affected millions of people are now extremely rare in many countries or eradicated altogether. While most vaccinations are given to children, several are important for adults to continue to receive as they age. And though you may hate needles, the potential disease you can contract if not vaccinated is certainly worse than a brief shot.

Here’s a rundown of recommended immunizations for adults in good health. Be sure to talk with your doctor about which vaccinations are right for you.

Seasonal Influenza

An annual flu vaccine is recommended for all children and adults older than 6 months of age. Think you don’t need it? Neither did the millions of annual flu victims who decided not to get the vaccine. Reduce your risk of the seasonal flu (fever, aches, headache, sore throat, and cough), possible hospitalization, and even flu-related death by getting the flu shot each flu season. Even if you wind up with the flu, receiving the flu shot lessens the symptoms, which helps you get back to life fast.

Tetanus and Diphtheria

Every 10 years, adults need a tetanus and diphtheria booster vaccine (Td). Tetanus can develop after the tetanus bacteria enter your body through a cut or scrape in your skin. This bacteria harm the nervous system, causing painful muscle contractions mainly in the neck and jaw. Tetanus can also result in trouble breathing and body spasms.

Thousands of people died from diphtheria in the early 1900s. A serious bacterial infection that affects the nose and throat, diphtheria causes fever, sore throat, fatigue, swollen glands, and a gray membrane that can block your airways. With a regular vaccination, you can completely avoid the disease.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Some tetanus and diphtheria vaccines include immunization against pertussis (whooping cough). This vaccine is generally given to children, but adults who get the vaccine can be protected from transmitting the disease to children. Pregnant women are also advised to get the pertussis vaccine to protect their newborns.
Pertussis is a respiratory tract infection that comes with congestion, fever, a severe cough, and a high-pitched “whoop” sound that happens when you inhale.

The infection is especially dangerous for young infants.

Shingles

The shingles vaccine is recommended for adults 50 years of age and older. Given in two doses, two to six months apart, the shingles vaccine has a high success rate of protecting against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a common complication of shingles. Adults who previously had chickenpox and/or shingles should still receive a shingles vaccine to avoid future bouts with the virus.

Brought on by the same virus that causes chickenpox, singles produces an extremely painful rash that usually breaks out on the right or left side of your torso or face. Along with the painful blisters, you may also get a fever, headache, and fatigue.

Pneumococcal Conjugate

Children under the age of 2 years and adults older than 65 are at the greatest risk for disease caused by pneumococcus bacteria. For this reason, people in these age groups should get the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
Infections from these bacteria can cause ear or sinus infections, pneumonia, blood infections, and meningitis.

Others

Additional vaccinations may be needed depending on your age, profession, health conditions, past vaccinations, lifestyle choices, and travel plans. Taking these factors into consideration, your doctor may recommend vaccinations to protect against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, and the human papillomavirus. If you’re unsure which vaccinations you’re due to have, talk with your doctor.