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    National Immunization Awareness Month: 5 Tips to Ensure You and Your Adult Loved Ones are Staying Protected!

    The majority of us can remember getting a variety of vaccinations when we were children.  We may not have the fondest memories of those experiences, but it was something we had to do to keep ourselves protected from serious illnesses and diseases.  However, many adults might not recall the last time they had a vaccine post-adolescence.  In honor of National Immunization Awareness Month, Harmony Home Care is spreading the word that vaccines are for people of all ages, not just children!  Read on to find tips and guidelines to keep you and the adults in your life properly vaccinated and protected!

    Did you know that the protection from certain vaccines can decrease over time?  So, even if you received all of the recommended vaccines during your childhood, you may need additional vaccines or boosters as an adult in order to ensure you are fully protected.

    All adults need a yearly influenza (flu) vaccine

    • The flu can merely be a mild illness for many people. However, it can become gravely dangerous for others, causing pneumonia, heightening existing health problems, and leading to hospitalization or even death.  Typically, flu season occurs between December and February each year.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting your flu vaccination by October, if possible.  It will take your body about two weeks to develop its protections against the flu virus, once you have received the vaccine, so the best method is to be proactive and have it done early!

    All adults need the Tdap vaccine!

    • As a child you may have had the DTaP and Tdap vaccines, which protect against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (Whooping Cough). However, if you did not receive the Tdap vaccine as an adolescent, the CDC highly recommends receiving it as an adult! The CDC also recommends that women receive this vaccine during each pregnancy to help protect the unborn child.

    Don’t forget about booster shots!

    • Some vaccines have series of boosters that accompany them. For example, after receiving the Tdap vaccine, adults should also receive the Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster every 10 years.  If you fail to do so, you will not be receiving the utmost level of protection from these serious diseases.  Why eliminate the protection you worked to attain for yourself? Make sure you’re up to date at your next physical exam!

    Older adults require vaccines to prevent illnesses such as shingles.

    • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults age 60 and older should receive a single dose of the shingles vaccine, unless they have an allergy or weakened immune system. This vaccine has been known to reduce the risk of shingles by 50 percent! With at least 1 million people getting the painful shingles rash each year, in the United States alone, it may certainly be a wise precaution for you to take.

    If you are a healthcare worker, you will need additional vaccines!

    • Workers in a healthcare setting are encouraged, by the CDC, to get the Hepatitis B series, MMR, and varicella vaccines, in addition to the other vaccines recommended for all adults.

     

    Besides the required vaccines above, there are three determining factors to keep in mind regarding additional vaccines you may need:

    • Your age
    • Your health conditions or lifestyle
    • Your travel outside the U.S.

    Some of those additional vaccines you may need include: 

    • Chickenpox
    • Hepatitis A
    • Hepatitis B
    • MMR
    • Meningococcal
    • Pneumococcal

    To view great resources for more information on these vaccines, including a quiz to discover which vaccines you might need, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s online database.

     

    Ultimately and most importantly, we, at Harmony Home Care, care about your health and well-being, and strongly recommend the completion of an annual physical examination!  That appointment is imperative for you to have the opportunity to discuss important health topics, such as your vaccines and boosters, with your doctor.  Refer to this blog as a guide, but always take the medical advice of your primary care physician before making any substantial decisions regarding your health and safety!

     

    Harmony is founded with a single focus in mind: providing compassionate home care and home healthcare to the residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

    Our trustworthy caregivers are ready to lend a helping hand to your mother, father, children, and loved ones in Washington County, Indiana County, Allegheny County, and many more locations throughout the region. Contact us and one of our patient advocates will be happy to discuss how Harmony's programs can help your family today. 

     

    Written by Michelle Adams

    We’re here to help. Call us now, or we can call you.