Vaccines have been hailed by some as the greatest advancement in medical history. Their benefits are threefold: protecting the individual from disease, preventing individuals from spreading disease to others, and, in rare cases, eradicating a disease entirely. Though vaccines have come under attack in recent times, blamed for increasing rates of autism and other disorders, there has been no scientific evidence to support these claims. Immunizations are still widely recommended by physicians worldwide and some are required by law to protect the public.
The last week of October is National Adult Immunization Week, a nationwide effort to educate adults on the importance of vaccination against disease. Many children and teenagers are immunized early on against diseases like measles, hepatitis B, and meningitis, and they don't require follow-up boosters for these later in life. However, there are some immunizations that need to be repeated in adults in order to maintain their protective benefit.
Here are some of the most common vaccines recommended for adults.
Flu season lasts from late fall to early spring, and each year adults are reminded to get a flu shot. The flu is caused by infection by the influenza virus, which results in symptoms, such as fever, cough, fatigue, and body aches. As the virus spreads during flu season, it evolves, so each year a new vaccine must be developed to fight it. People who work with children, the elderly, or in healthcare settings are especially encouraged to get immunized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting the vaccine in October or November, and it is available as an injection or as a nasal spray.
Tetanus, commonly known as “lockjaw,” is a condition caused by infection by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. The bacteria exist primarily in soil, so any kind of penetrative injury can lead to infection. Tetanus causes painful muscle spasms and, in severe cases, death. A new tetanus vaccine is recommended every 10 years for adults, and the immunization is usually combined with the diphtheria and pertussis vaccine (DTP).
For personal or group immunizations for your family or workplace, contact our office. ProPartnersMD serves the Kansas City area and can be reached by calling (877)342-7709 or by visiting our website. We specialize in men's health as well as corporate physical examinations and health assessments.