August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so here’s your friendly reminder: are you and your family up-to-date on your vaccinations?
Of course, vaccines are a year-round kind of thing but this mid-year campaign encourages everyone to check in on their boosters, double-check with their family members, and encourage friends and extended family to get their shots. Here are a few things you should know:
Vaccines: Not Just for Kids
While most families and medical providers are diligent about keeping kids up-to-date on their vaccines, many adults fail or forget to get their boosters. But consider this: every year, thousands of adults in the U.S. fall victim to vaccine-preventable illnesses. The CDC recommends all adults get the flu shot and Td/Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis/whooping cough) vaccines and depending on your age, health and other circumstances, your doctor may also recommend boosters against chickenpox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), MMR, meningococcal, pneumococcal and shingles.
Want to know which vaccines you need? Take this quiz.
Get Your Flu Shot
It’s the height of summer so it’s easy to forget that flu season is just a few months away. But it is, and it’s important to remember that the flu isn’t just an inconvenience – it can be dangerous and even deadly. Every year, a seasonal flu vaccine is developed to help fight the most virulent influenza strains; the vaccine is recommended for everyone 6+ months, and is especially important for children under 5, pregnant women, seniors 65+, and the immune-compromised (e.g. patients with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or HIV/AIDS).
Planning to Travel?
A few vaccines – yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, etc. – aren’t part of the U.S. routine vaccination schedule, since certain illnesses are very uncommon with national borders. If you’re planning on traveling abroad, be sure to talk with your physician about extra vaccines you might need (this handy list will also help).
Here’s to a healthy year!