Why adults need immunizations too
Vaccines are strongly associated with childhood and adolescence, but serious diseases can affect people of any age. In fact, some of the shots given during childhood can lose their effectiveness over time, making adults susceptible to serious illnesses like whooping cough. It can be confusing for adults to keep track of their immunization records and vaccine recommendations, but the healthcare providers at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are here to help with personalized medical guidance.
Some vaccines lose effectiveness over time
Certain shots, such as the polio vaccine, confer lifelong immunity from the disease. But others lose their effectiveness over time. This is why kids and adults should get booster shots at recommended intervals.
One example is pertussis, or whooping cough. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women get a booster shot of TDaP at each pregnancy .
Some vaccines are solely intended for older adults
The shingles vaccine is only recommended for adults ages 60 and older. Shingles is caused by the herpes zoster virus, which is the same one that causes chickenpox. Regardless of whether a person did or didn’t get chickenpox as a child, the shingles vaccine is still recommended.
This shot protects adults from the painful rash of shingles, and from its potential complications. Shingles can cause post-herpetic neuralgia, which can result in debilitating pain that lingers for weeks or months. Occasionally, shingles can cause vision loss, hearing loss and brain inflammation.
Some older adults might have missed getting vaccines in childhood
Over the years, researchers have introduced newly developed vaccines to the public. This means that people who were born before the vaccines were available, or before the vaccines were routinely recommended, might not have been protected with them.
It’s still possible to contract these serious diseases later in life. Older adults may need to contact their past and current healthcare providers to find their complete immunization records.
At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center , your health is our highest priority. Our physicians and nurses are strong advocates for preventive medicine, including vaccines, because healthy families strengthen our Las Vegas community. You can call a trusted member of our nursing staff at (702) 233-5300.