Preventable Risks? What You Need To Know About Adult Vaccinations

By: Stacia Naquin Email
By: Stacia Naquin Email

You stay out of the sun. You eat lots of fruits and veggies. You exercise.

But there's something else just as important to your health and it could literally save your life.

Health professionals say you, as an adult, need to make sure you're up to date on your vaccinations… just like your kids.

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, vaccine preventable infections kill 50,000 Americans every year. The foundation says that's more than HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and traffic accidents combined. So why do we forget?

“Daily life, work, school, taking care of other people,” explains Anna Barr.

Barr is a mom and medical assistant. She tries to keep up to date on her shots, but sometimes it's hard.

“I'm the type of person – oh my gosh - I just stepped on a nail, what am I gonna do,” said Anna. “Not like, oh, it's been 7 years since my last shot. Maybe I should go get that.”

Dr. Richard Thomas with Colorado Springs Health Partners says we adults have to change our mind set about vaccinations.

“They're as important as paying attention to your kids vaccines,” said Dr. Thomas.

The U.S. Military agrees. That's why our soldiers are required to get their vaccinations.

LTC Terri Brown is the acting Chief of Preventive Medicine at Fort Carson. She says the vaccines keep our soldiers healthy.

“We don't want the troops going overseas or being right here with their mission and can't do their job because they're sick,” said LTC Brown.

And we're talking about more than a flu shot for adult vaccinations; doctors definitely recommend those. But some of us also need a pneumonia vaccine, and a tetanus shot now includes whooping cough protection. There's a lot to think about. On top of that, there's another big question on some people's mind lately - are vaccinations safe?

“The risk of coming down with one of these serious diseases is much greater than potential side effects from the vaccine,” said Dr. Thomas.

And getting your shots affects more than just your health.

"If you get vaccinated,” said Dr. Thomas, “it not only protects you, but protects your family."

For a list of what vaccines are recommended for your age group, click on the document link above to print the chart with shots recommended by the CDC.

Also, you can read the “Top 10 Reasons for Adults to Get Vaccinated,” according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases by clicking on the link below.

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