Do Adults Need Vaccines?

You know kids and pets need shots, but do adults need vaccines? The short answer is yes. But why? Which vaccines do you need? Many questions and misinformation surround the topic of adult vaccines, which is why Dr. James Batey and our team of medical professionals are here to clear up the confusion.

At Premier Primary Care, we focus on vaccinations because we know how effective they can be in preventing disease and illnesses in children and adults. Here’s everything you need to know about adult vaccines.

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are made from tiny amounts of weakened or dead germs that cause diseases like viruses, bacteria, and toxins. They’re typically injected into your bloodstream, which helps your immune system fight against the disease should you become infected. 

If your immune system has already encountered and defeated a mild version of the disease, the chances of you warding it off later increase significantly. 

Some mistakenly believe vaccines are dangerous, but vaccines have proven time and again to be a safe measure of preventive care. 

Who needs vaccines?

Young children need vaccines to prevent diseases like measles and chickenpox, and public schools require all students to be up-to-date on their vaccinations before the school year begins.

Unfortunately, people often stop getting vaccinated once they’re no longer school-aged. 

Neglecting to get vaccinated as an adult puts you at risk for contracting diseases and suffering more severe complications than those who are vaccinated. You need to be vaccinated against certain illnesses even when you’re well into your 50s.

Some jobs, like those in healthcare, may require industry-specific vaccines. Furthermore, some vaccines are necessary if you have health issues like HIV, diabetes, and renal disease. 

Dr. Batey conducts a thorough review of your medical history and determines which vaccines are necessary for your specific circumstances.  

Which vaccines do you need?

Your vaccination needs change as you get older, and, depending on the vaccine, you may need to get a vaccination every year or every few years. 

Here are the different vaccines you may need depending on your age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Adults 19-26 years old

For young adults, we recommend getting the seasonal flu vaccine every year. It’s also a good idea to get the one-time Tdap vaccine to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis unless you were vaccinated as a teen. Every ten years, you should receive the Td shot to avoid tetanus. 

You should also consider getting vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) in your 20s, but you can still get the HPV vaccine until you’re 45 years old. 

Additionally, more and more college-aged students elect to get the meningitis vaccine, especially those living in close quarters with other students. 

Adults 50 years and older

Your immune system weakens as you age, you must get age-appropriate vaccinations throughout your life. 

We recommend flu, Tdap, and Td vaccines for people over 50 years old in addition to other more age-specific vaccinations like the shingles vaccine. 

As you get older, you may also want to consider getting the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine that protects you from meningitis and other bloodstream infections and the pneumococcal conjugate, which can ward off illnesses like pneumonia. 

How do I get vaccinated?

Make an appointment with one of our medical professionals to get started on a vaccination schedule. We tell you exactly when you need to be vaccinated and which vaccinations are right for you. 

Because most vaccinations come in the form of a shot, your appointment shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and can typically be done during your regular annual primary care check-up. 

Call our Union City, Tennessee, office at 731-885-884, or schedule an appointment online to protect your health and support your immune system with vaccines.  

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