Every year, thousands of adults in the United States suffer serious health problems, are hospitalized, or even die from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination.
To celebrate the importance of immunizations throughout life – and to help remind adults that they need vaccines, too – the Center for Disease Control is recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. This is the perfect opportunity to make sure adults are protected against diseases like flu, whooping cough, tetanus, shingles, and pneumococcal disease.
The specific vaccines adults need are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, risk conditions, locations of travel, and previous vaccines. All adults should talk to their health care providers about which vaccines are right for them.
According to the CDC, there is a misconception among many adults that vaccines are just for. The truth is, you never outgrow the need for immunizations.
To find out which vaccines might be right for you and where you can get vaccinated, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/index.html
Frequently Asked Questions from the CDC web site:
Ask your health care professional which vaccines are right for you based on your age, lifestyle, medical conditions and previous vaccinations. You can also visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults for more information and find a link to an adult vaccine quiz to see which vaccines are recommended for you.
What are potential risks from adult vaccines?
Side effects from vaccines are usually minor and temporary, such as soreness at the injection site or a slight fever that goes away in a few days. Some people may have allergic reactions to certain vaccines. Serious and long-term effects are rare.
As with any medical procedure, vaccination has some risks as well as important, proven benefits. Individuals react differently to vaccines, and there is no way to absolutely predict the reaction of a specific individual to a particular vaccine.
Anyone who takes a vaccine should be fully informed about both the benefits and the risks of vaccination. Any questions or concerns should be discussed with a physician or other health care professional.
Are adult vaccines safe?
Yes! The longstanding vaccine safety system in the U.S. ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. In fact, the United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history.
Safety monitoring begins with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which ensures the safety, and effectiveness of vaccines for the United States. Before a vaccine is approved by the FDA for use by the public, the results of studies on safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are evaluated by highly trained FDA scientists and doctors. FDA also inspects the sites where vaccines are made to make sure they follow strict manufacturing guidelines.
FDA and CDC continue to monitor vaccines after licensing to ensure continued safety of the vaccines in the U.S.
What are the ingredients in vaccines?
Vaccines contain ingredients, called antigens, which cause the body to develop immunity. Vaccines also contain very small amounts