Tips from Quail Summit

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

We all need shots (vaccines) to help protect us from serious diseases. Immunizations (also called shots or vaccines) help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. Immunization isn’t just for kids – to stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia, adults need to get vaccinated, too.

We can all use this month to raise awareness about vaccines and share strategies to increase immunization rates in our community.

You may not realize that you need vaccines throughout your life. Adults need to keep their vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. You are also at risk for different diseases as an adult. Vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available.

Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. Your risk of shingles increases as you grow older. Additionally, over 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older.

As we get older, our immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting us at higher risk for certain diseases. This is why, in addition to seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine and Td or Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), you should also get:

Shingles vaccine, which protects against shingles and the complications from the disease (recommended for healthy adults 50 years and older)

Pneumococcal vaccines, which protect against pneumococcal disease, including infections in the lungs and bloodstream (recommended for all adults over 65 years old, and for adults younger than 65 years who have certain chronic health conditions)

Getting your shots also protects other people.

When you get shots, you don’t just protect yourself – you also protect others. This is especially important if you spend time around anyone with a long-term health problem or a weak immune system (the system in the body that fights infections).

Protect yourself and those around you by staying up to date on your shots.

Talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended for you at your next medical appointment.