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Shots aren’t just for babies or young children. We all need vaccines throughout our lives to help protect against serious diseases, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Different vaccines are recommended for children, teens and adults. The right vaccines at the right time can help keep people of all ages healthy. What vaccines you need depends on factors like age, health problems, jobs and travel. CDC and other health experts update vaccine recommendations each year, as new research is available.
It’s also a vital step to protect people at risk, such as the very young, the very old, and people with weak immune systems or serious illnesses. Some people who are at risk can’t get immunizations. The more people who can have vaccines get vaccinated, the better protected everyone is.
Vaccine-preventable diseases are still around, even the ones that aren’t currently common in the U.S. And they can be spread to people who haven’t had the shots. Measles is one example. It is still common in other countries. So a traveler who hasn’t had the shot can get it and bring it back to the U.S. with them, where it may spread to others.
Before a vaccine is approved for use in the U.S., it goes through testing to make sure it is safe and works well. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluates the results of clinical studies. Safety is watched during use. Like other medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. They are mostly mild.
For a list of all vaccinations adults should get at what age, visit vaccines.gov. There are also vaccines recommended for young adults, ages 19 to 26.
Adults with chronic health problems like asthma, COPD, heart disease and diabetes are more likely to get complications from certain diseases. If you have chronic health issues, make sure you know what vaccines you need.
From babyhood to preschool and beyond, keeping your child healthy means following the vaccination schedule set by the CDC. It’s designed to protect against serious diseases, like polio, whooping cough and mumps. Those diseases can result in a hospital stay, or even death.
It’s important to make sure your child is fully vaccinated against these vaccine-preventable diseases. That means finishing the whole series of recommended shots. Studies have shown they are safe. But veering from the shot schedule is not.
Don’t put off vaccinations. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
It’s not too early to start thinking about getting a flu shot to help you stay healthy. The body’s immune response from the vaccine declines after a while, so you need a flu shot each year.
The flu season starts in October and peaks between December and February. But you can get the flu any time of year. The number of cases of the flu have been known to start rising in September.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the shot to protect against flu virus infection. So don’t wait until peak flu season to get your flu shot. Get it as soon as it’s available.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting a yearly flu shot for most people ages six months and older.
The flu can be spread before any symptoms appear. That’s why others can give you the flu even before they know they have it. It’s just one more reason to protect yourself with a flu shot. And getting vaccinated not only protects you, it also protects your family and others in your community by lowering the chance that you will spread the virus.
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