Vaccinations aren’t just for newborns and young children. These simple shots are just as important for older adults who are vulnerable to illnesses like the flu and shingles. If you are older than 50, consider these shots to be an essential part of your ongoing preventative health care.
The Flu Shot
The flu shot protects against influenza and its dangerous complications. It contains an inactivated form of the influenza virus to help the body develop the antibodies necessary for protection against infection. Since the flu is most common in the winter months, the CDC recommends vaccination by the end of October to give the body time to boost its immune system.
The flu shot is so important for older Americans, since men and women above the age of 50 or 60 may have weaker immune systems or become more vulnerable to complications of the flu like pneumonia. Even if the flu shot does not prevent the flu entirely, it can minimize symptoms and make recovery easier.
Tdap stands for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It is a combination of illnesses that the Tdap vaccine is designed to prevent. Tetanus is a rare condition that causes painful muscle stiffness, diphtheria leads to breathing problems, and pertussis is the formal name of whooping cough.
The Tdap vaccine is meant for children, but adults must receive it if they missed it as children. Pregnant women also need to receive Tdap vaccine again to protect their newborn babies from pertussis, especially since infants are at risk for severe and deadly complications from the whooping cough.
The Shingles Vaccine
The shingles is very similar to the chickenpox. It is actually triggered by the chickenpox virus remaining inactive in the body for years or decades and then returning to cause shingles. Shingles are painful and severe rashes that cause itching, tingling, flu symptoms, and possible lasting nerve damage. Anybody who ever had the chickenpox virus is at risk of shingles, so it is recommended that all adults receive this vaccination by age 60. Even if the shingles vaccine does not entirely prevent the shingles, it will minimize symptoms and accelerate recovery.
With the protection offered by these three vaccines, adults can remain happy, healthy, and thriving. Call (352) 666-6950 to schedule your vaccination appointment at one of the many IMC Family Doctor locations throughout Florida.