Since August is National Immunization Awareness Month, I thought I would give you the top 10 vaccines that adults should consider getting in order to prevent certain diseases.
According to the CDC, here are some diseases that you should get a vaccine for and the amount of shots each adult age group should get:
1) Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Td/Tdap): Diphtheria "can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and even death," according to the CDC. A tetanus shot can prevent lockjaw and a pertussis shot can prevent whooping cough. Beginning at age 19, adults should get a Tdap vaccine first and then, after age 64, adults should get a Td booster every 10 years. The first Tdap shot applies to those who haven't gotten it before the age of 19.
2) HPV: This vaccine is supposed to prevent cervical cancer from HPV. Women should get an HPV vaccine (three shots/doses) in the 19-26 age group.
3) Varicella: This vaccine can prevent chickenpox. Adults 19 to over 65 should get two shots if not immune or if prior vaccinations weren't sufficient.
4) Herpes Zoster: Also called shingles, this is a painful skin rash. It is like an adult chickenpox, as it is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Adults 60 to over 65 should get one dose.
5) Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR): These can cause many unwanted problems. One or two doses should be taken from 19 to 49 years, and those who have other risk factors and are 50 to over 65 years old should have another shot.
6) Influenza: From 19 to 49 years old, those who have risk factors should have one shot annually. Otherwise, those 50 to over 65 years old should always have one shot annually. You might want to consider getting a swine flu shot as well once it's available.
7) Pneumococcal (polysaccharide): This can cause bacterial meningitis and blood infections. One or two doses should be taken for those ages 19 to 64 who have risk factors. Otherwise, only those 65 and up need to have one dose.
8) Hepatitis A: This can affect the liver and cause other complications.