Understanding the Importance of Immunizations

August 2021

All adults should understand the importance of immunizations to protect their health. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill and can pass certain illnesses on to others. Vaccination is crucial because it not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but also helps prevent the spread of certain diseases to those who are most vulnerable
to serious complications.

Immunization is especially important for adults 60 years of age and older and for those who have a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, diabetes or heart disease. Immunization is also important for anyone who is in close contact with the very young, the very old, people with weakened immune systems and those who cannot be vaccinated.

7 Facts About Immunizations

  1. The need for vaccination does not end in childhood. Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, locations of travel, medical conditions and previous vaccines.
  2. Vaccines are recommended for adults to prevent serious diseases such as influenza, shingles, pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria, hepatitis and whooping cough.
  3. Some vaccines prevent cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine can prevent liver cancer that can result after developing chronic hepatitis B. The HPV vaccine can prevent cervical and other types of cancer caused by human papillomavirus.
  4. Every year, thousands of adults in the U.S. needlessly suffer, are hospitalized and even die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.
  5. Most adults have probably not received all the vaccines they need. Unfortunately, far too few adults are receiving the recommended vaccines, leaving themselves and their loved ones vulnerable to serious diseases.
  6. Vaccines are very safe. Vaccines are thoroughly tested before licensing and carefully monitored even after they are licensed to ensure they are very safe. Side effects from vaccines are usually minor and temporary. Some people may have allergic reactions to certain vaccines, but serious and long-term effects are rare.
  7. Vaccines are available at private doctors’ offices, as well as other convenient locations such as pharmacies, workplaces, community health clinics and health departments.

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