Immunizations and Vaccines
It is important to seek medical care when you are ill, but it is also important to get the preventive care you need to stay healthy. Vaccines are an essential part of preventive care because they prevent serious diseases that can be passed from one person to another. Ask your primary care physician about the vaccination schedule patients 12 years and older should follow, especially if you plan to travel outside the country at any time.
Vaccines for Adults
You may be familiar with the immunizations given to children, but there are also several vaccines you should receive as an adult. You should get a flu vaccination every year, especially if you have a higher risk of developing the infection. The flu shot protects against several strains of flu virus. There is also a nasal mist you can get if you do not want to get the flu shot.
The Tdap vaccine protects you against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. You should get the vaccination once and then get a booster shot every 10 years to protect against all three diseases. Adults should also receive two doses of the chickenpox vaccine and one or two doses of the MMR vaccination, which protects you against measles, mumps, and rubella. Women should receive three doses of the HPV vaccine between the ages of 19 and 26. Men should receive three doses between the ages of 19 and 21 and three doses between the ages of 22 and 26. Talk to your doctor if you want to be vaccinated against pneumonia, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and meningitis.
Pertussis vaccine also protects you against whooping cough, which has been the culprit of many outbreaks in the US due to waning antibody response after childhood vaccinations. We encourage adults who have not received Tdap within the last 7 years to request this vaccine.
If you live with young children, an elderly person, or a pregnant woman, it is especially important for you to get the vaccinations you need. The immune systems of the very young and elderly may not be able to fight disease as well as your immune system. When you get vaccinated, you reduce the risk of contracting serious diseases and passing those diseases to people with compromised immune systems.
If you work in a healthcare setting, your employer may require you to get certain vaccinations. These vaccinations will protect you from getting sick and, in turn, will protect your patients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends healthcare workers receive vaccines for hepatitis B, flu, chickenpox, meningitis, tetanus, pertussis, and diphtheria.
When you visit Chapel Hill Primary Care, you will receive personalized attention throughout your visit. We use an evidence-based approach to making health recommendations, so you will always have access to the latest information about immunizations and other health decisions. Schedule your vaccinations today, or request an appointment to discuss any health concerns with one of our attentive medical professionals.