Vaccines and Boosters Every Adult Should Have

People talk a lot about vaccines. COVID-19 has reminded us all of the importance of immunizations and preventive medicine.

That’s why Dr. Perry Weisman and our team here at WiseCare Urgent Care in Severna Park and Pasadena, Maryland, are taking this opportunity to discuss adult vaccines. Even if you had all your shots as a kid, you might need a booster for some of them, as they don’t all last a lifetime.

And if you’ve lost your records or are unsure about whether you’ve had all your immunizations, we can help you get back on track so you stand the best chance of avoiding some severe diseases.

Vaccines for all adults

If you’re 19 or older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinations for several known diseases. Most of these are a matter of routine preventive healthcare for children, but if you missed any of your shots or aren’t sure about your vaccination history, here’s a rundown of the immunizations you should have under your belt.

Flu shot

Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot every year. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has been tragic, but it’s important to remember that other deadly viruses still exist as well. Millions of people worldwide die every year from the flu, and the virus changes every season. An annual flu shot may help you sidestep the danger.

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

All three of these viral diseases can lead to serious complications, including brain damage, seizures, meningitis, deafness, infertility, and congenital disabilities. Measles starts with a fever and runny nose and transitions to a whole-body rash. Mumps attack the glands in your face and ears. Rubella, also known as the German measles, causes swollen glands, a facial rash, and fever. 

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (TDap or DTap)

Tetanus is an infection that enters through a wound, and if left untreated, can cause your muscles to stiffen and your jaw to lock. 

Diphtheria causes labored breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and death. 

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is more common among babies and children than adults, but if you get it when you’re older, you may suffer from severe, violent coughing attacks that break your ribs and make you pass out.

You need a TDap booster every ten years.

Chickenpox

If you never had chickenpox and didn’t get the shot, you’re susceptible to this highly contagious disease. Before the vaccination became available in 1995, an average of 4 million people contracted chickenpox, but that number has dropped dramatically since the vaccination.

If you had chickenpox as a child, you don’t need the chickenpox vaccination, but you need a shingles shot. Shingles is an intensely painful rash caused by the chickenpox virus, which lies dormant in your body forever.

Hep-A and Hep-B

Hepatitis A causes liver disease that could be fatal. It typically spreads through food and water sources. Hepatitis B spreads through bodily fluids and shared needles.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

There are more than 100 strains of HPV, and about 40 of them can lead to sexually transmitted diseases, including genital warts. The vaccine can’t protect you from every strain of HPV, but it may help you avoid certain types of cervical and anal cancer. 

Vaccines for older adults

Senior citizens may be at a higher risk for certain illnesses because their immune systems are weaker, and they may be experiencing other conditions that make them more vulnerable. Here are the vaccines we recommend to keep our older patients safe:

Some of the vaccines you need as an adult are single shots, while others need to be taken in multiple phases. Some of these shots are age-specific, and some shouldn’t be taken under certain circumstances. Dr. Weisman can help you figure out which vaccinations you need and when so you can get back on schedule. To schedule an appointment, call us at 410-255-7900 today. 

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