by Mary Wright, RN, health educator at North End Waterfront Health
Infectious diseases are a major cause of illness, disability, and death. Vaccines were developed to protect people from dangerous and often fatal diseases. Today’s vaccines are safe and effective.
Every year people die from diseases that could have been prevented. Some of these diseases are the flu, measles, and whooping cough. Getting the vaccines that you need is something to be done for all of your life. Immunizations are not just for kids! Adults need to be vaccinated too. We all need immunizations to keep us healthy and to prevent the spread of disease.
Getting vaccinated begins during infancy. Your doctor or healthcare provider will have the schedule for when your baby needs each vaccine. Children who are not vaccinated can spread diseases to other children and adults.
The adult immunization schedule is based on several factors including your age, your medical history, your lifestyle, the type and location of your travel, and your previous immunizations.
Vaccinations that we all need are the annual flu shot, TDAP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis or whooping cough), shingles, pneumonia, and hepatitis B.
For more information go to the CDC website.