Immunization Tips

August is Immunizations Awareness Month, so Heartland Health & Wellness Fund put together some information you might find useful!

Immunizations are an important part of making sure you and your family are immune to diseases before you even get the chance to become sick.

Keeping up with your child’s vaccine is important from the very first year all the way up to the day he or she moves out of the house. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a handy, interactive tool you can use to keep up with your family’s schedule of vaccinations.

When taking your child to get vaccines, you should have his or her shot records on hand. Ask any doctor your child has seen in the past, call your state’s health department or see if your child’s school or daycare has them on file.

Talking to your child can also help calm any fears he or she might have going into the appointment.

Just because children are more vulnerable to diseases doesn’t mean you should neglect your own immunizations. The CDC recommends adults get a flu vaccine every year. Healthy adults 50 years or older should get a shingles vaccine, while older adults might need a variety of other vaccines to maintain their health. The CDC has a quiz available on their website to let you know which immunizations you might need.

It’s also important to know that if you’re an adult, many of your childhood vaccines have likely worn off. Adults who travel often are extra vulnerable to diseases. For those globetrotters, it’s especially important to keep up an immunization schedule.

Some of the most common shots for adults are flu, tdap (tetanus), hepatitis A and B, HPV and measles or mumps. Like most vaccines, whether you should get these shots depends on your lifestyle or overall health.

Thanks to years of immunizations, diseases like measles, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough are at historic lows. No matter what age you are, it’s important to talk with your doctor to determine what your medical needs are. While online guides are a big help, your doctor is the best resource for which immunizations are right for you. Check with your pharmacist to see what vaccines they offer.