Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease
Immunization, or vaccination, helps prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia, adults need to get their shots – just like kids do.
We all need shots (also called vaccinations or immunizations) to help protect us from serious diseases. To help keep our community safe, St. John is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month.
Shots can prevent serious diseases like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. It’s important to know which shots you need and when to get them.
Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu vaccine every year. Other shots work best when they are given at certain ages.
The two most important vaccines that adults need to receive are Influenza and Tetanus, Diphtheria and adult Purtussis Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. During this time, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community. It is a yearly vaccine that is paid for by Medicare and other insurances. The best time to be vaccinated is in October or early November.
The Tdap vaccine or “tetanus shot” needs to be given every 10-15 years or earlier if needed.
TETANUS (Lockjaw) is rare in the United States today. It causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness, usually all over the body. It can lead to tightening of muscles in the head and neck so you can’t open your mouth, swallow, or sometimes even breathe. Tetanus kills about 1 out of 10 people who are infected even after receiving the best medical care.
DIPHTHERIA is also rare in the United States today. It can cause a thick coating to form in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis, and death.
PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes severe coughing spells, which can cause difficulty breathing, vomiting, and disturbed sleep. It can also lead to weight loss, incontinence, and rib fractures. Up to 2 in 100 adolescents and 5 in 100 adults with pertussis are hospitalized or have complications, which could include pneumonia or death.
Talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure that everyone in your family gets the shots they need.
National Immunization Awareness Month is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots.Share this with your friends: