Adult vaccines - are you up-to-date?
By: Tiffany Sisson
After you step on a rusty nail or get adult chickenpox is not when you want to find out you're behind on your vaccines. While keeping up-to-date with your immunizations can be difficult, it's important to keep tabs on your history.
The vaccination for tetanus and diphtheria top the list of immunizations that adults should have already gotten, along with measles, mumps, rubella, the Polio, and chickenpox vaccine. "A lot of the adults don't have those vaccinations simply because the school age requirements were different when they were growing up," explained Carol Jordan.
Jordan is a registered nurse at the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Department. Jordan said adults also need some booster shots, along with other vaccines as you get older. All adults need the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine booster every 10 years. "It's a bacteria that you actually get from the soil, metal objects. If you were to be cut, it could be life threatening, but it's preventable," explained Jordan.
It's recommended adults 50 and over get the flu shot once a year, over 65 should get a pneumonia shot. "You can take both the flu and pneumonia shot. The flu shot is an annual vaccine, and it's recommended for those who are over 65, anybody who has any contact with small children, or takes care of the elderly," said Jordan.
There are several other immunizations you may want, given your medical condition, job, or lifestyle. Those include Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B. Those who travel to some parts of the world may need more.
If you're not sure which shots you've had, you can try getting that information from the school you attended as a child, the health department that gave you the shot, or your family doctor.