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Vaccines are as important for adults as they are for children

Booming Forward: Adult Vaccinations
Posted at 1:23 PM, Aug 18, 2023

When we think of keeping up with important vaccinations, it’s primarily our kids we may think of.

But health experts stress that vaccinations are just as important for adults.

That’s due to a couple reasons: First, vaccines can help protect against both getting and spreading a number of diseases that affect people of all ages, not just children. Also, the protection we get from our childhood vaccinations can fade over time.

The most important vaccines for adults

Except under rare circumstances, the seasonal flu vaccine is important for nearly every adult on an annual basis – especially so for pregnant women, people living with chronic health conditions, and older adults. Additionally, anyone who lives with and/or cares for anyone in these high-risk groups should consider themselves high-risk, as well.

If you’re never received it, talk to your doctor about the Tdap vaccine, too, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (or whooping cough). After your initial dose, boosters are recommended every 10 years. And pregnant women should get a Tdap booster between weeks 27 and 25 of each pregnancy.

Finally, health experts continue to urge everyone to keep up with vaccinations—and boosters—for COVID-19, up to CDC’s and your doctor’s recommendations.

Your doctor may recommend other vaccines, due to a number of factors, including your occupation, your family history, and your individual risk factors.

For example: The HPV vaccination, which helps protect against cervical cancer, is generally recommended for people up to age 26 who didn’t get the vaccine as a teenager.

And if you have certain health conditions that may put you at greater risk, your doctor may recommend vaccination against meningitis – Some school systems, in fact, require students to be vaccinated.

And if you’re planning to travel outside the country, local environmental factors—or even government policy—may make additional vaccinations necessary.

In any and all cases, talk to your doctor about what vaccinations may—or may not—be appropriate for you.

You can also learn more at optum.com/utah.