Vaccines Aren't Just for Kids: Are You Up to Date?

You had all your shots as a kid -- but that doesn’t mean your immunity lasts forever. As an adult, you should be getting boosters of certain vaccines to keep your immune system strong and healthy. This also prevents variations of childhood disease, like shingles, from wreaking havoc on your health.

Dr. Omar Aref of Plant City, Florida, provides adult vaccines as needed to help protect you, and everyone around you, from many diseases that are easy to avoid through immunization

What vaccines should you get as an adult?

All healthy adults should get an influenza vaccine (flu shot) annually. You’ll also need a tetanus booster every ten years (or in case of a deep injury, five years). The tetanus shot also contains the diphtheria shot, which needs boosting at the same intervals. If you never got a whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine as a kid, you’ll need one dose as an adult.

Other vaccines are recommended at different ages for healthy adults and pregnant women, including:

HPV 

The human papillomavirus vaccine is recommended for all healthy adults up to the age of 45. It can sharply decrease your chance of getting some types of cancer.

Shingles

The zoster vaccine is recommended for all healthy adults over the age of 50. It can help prevent adults from getting shingles -- a disease closely related to chickenpox 

Even if you had the chickenpox vaccine, you are not automatically immune to shingles. And if you had actual chickenpox as a child, you may be at increased risk for shingles.

Tdap

The whooping cough vaccine is recommended for healthy pregnant women between the 27th and 36th week of pregnancy. It can help newborns avoid getting whooping cough in the critical two months between their birth and two-month checkup, when they can get their own vaccine.

HepB

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthcare workers in particular get the hepatitis B vaccine. It can help protect them and their patients, as they are at a higher risk for infection and may work with a high risk population. 

Who should not get vaccines?

For most healthy adults, the benefits of vaccines far outweigh any risks. However, if you have preexisting health conditions that compromise your immune system, Dr. Aref may wish to delay or skip a vaccine. Conditions or contraindications that might require an altered vaccine schedule include:

Dr. Aref can review your medical history and recommend the appropriate vaccines for you as an adult. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 813-591-5672 or book an appointment online today.

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