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Smart Shots


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"Keeping up with adult vaccines can save lives"
by Diane Umansky
Healthy Living magazine

Adults may think that once they pass through adolescence, they're finished with vaccines. But to shield themselves and their loved ones from some serious diseases, grown-ups may need a shot....or two.

Unfortunately, most grown-ups are not up to date on their shots. "The vast majority of vaccine-preventable disease in the United States is now in adults" says William Schaffner, M.D., chair of the department of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville and president-elect of the National Foundation for Infectious Disease (NFID).

A mix of factors is at work. "Many adults don't go to the doctor regularly, as children do," says Dr. Schaffner. In addition, insurance coverage for adult vaccines can be uneven ir untunudatungk cinokex, And aside from the flu shot, few folks are even aware that adult vaccines exist. To help, here's a rundown of some adult vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis-

The CDC suggests that grown-ups get a booster shot for tetanus every 10 years. And with pertussis on the rise, health officials say one of these boosters for adults up to 64 years old, should be Tdap, a newer vaccine, that offers protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

Pneumococcal disease-This bacterial condition , the leading cause of pneumonia, can also cause meningitis, sinus infections, ear infections and the bloodstream infection bacteremia. The vaccine is recommended for adults who are 65 and older, have chronic health conditions, are missing their spleen or are immunocompromised. Recent additions: smokers and asthma sufferes. "Good studies show elevated risk in those groups", says Gregory A. Poland, M.D., diretor, Mayo Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, MN.

Influenza - This contagious viral illness typically kills 36,000 Americans each year. Adults 50 and over, those with chronic health conditions, health care workers, adults who are in close contact with children under five and women who are pregnant during the flu season are advised to get the annual flu vaccine. At press time, health officials were unsure what the vaccine recomendations would be for the H1N1 swine flu.

HPV- Human papillomavirus (HPV), which infects more than 6 million females each year, causes some 70 percent of cervical cancers. The vaccine is recommended primarily for young women (up to age 26); it may be less effective in those already exposed to HPV.

Other vaccines- Several other vaccines, such as those for hepatitis A and B and the meningococcal vaccine, may be recommended for adults with certain medical or lifestyle-related risk factors. Discuss your caccine needs with your doctor.

"Be smart, get your shots !!!" ;)
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