WAUSAU — Still think shots are just for kids? You might want to think again suggests health experts at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Adults should receive certain vaccines too.
Here’s list of reasons why you shouldn’t skimp on adult vaccinations:
1. Your age or situation could put you at risk for a preventable disease. For example, shingles and pneumonia shots are recommended for people in their 60s. You could be at risk for other diseases, too, because of your job or any chronic health conditions you may have, such as asthma or diabetes.
2. Vaccine protection fades over time. Just because you had a shot years ago doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. For instance, adults need a booster to renew protection against tetanus (lockjaw) every 10 years. And you need a new flu shot every year.
3. Your loved ones depend on you being immunized. Vaccines don’t just help protect you; some also help protect the people around you. If your loved ones include children or older adults—two groups particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases—they could get very sick from diseases (like whooping cough or the flu) that they catch from you.
4. You could get very sick yourself. Every year, thousands of adults get sick from vaccine-preventable diseases. And each year, some people are hospitalized or even die from those diseases.
5. You’re a world traveler. Heading overseas? Some vaccinations are recommended before traveling to certain countries.
6. Not getting immunized could cost you time and money. You could miss work if you get sick from the flu or another illness that a vaccine could prevent. If you have to be hospitalized, that could cost you too. On the other hand, many immunizations are covered by health insurance plans.
7. Immunizations are safe. Most side effects, if they happen at all, are mild and go away on their own. More importantly, they save lives.
“Vaccines save lives and prevent diseases that can be detrimental to you and your community,” said Larry Gordon, a physician with Aspirus Weston Clinic. “Protect yourself, your friends, your family, your children and our community. Be knowledgeable. Be aware. Make informed decisions about your health and the health of our communities.”