Countryside Public Health Celebrates National Immunization Awareness Month Every year, tens of 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. Vaccinating our children is commonplace in the United States. But many adults don’t know which vaccines they need, and even fewer are fully vaccinated.

For example, in 2014, only 28 percent of adults ages 60 and older had received a shingles vaccine and only 20 percent of adults older than 19 had received a Tdap vaccine. All adults should get vaccines to protect their health. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill and pass diseases on to others. Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed at their doctor’s office, pharmacy, or other visits with health care providers.

Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person’s age, occupation, or health conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes or heart disease). Vaccination is important because it protects the person receiving the vaccine and helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those who are most vulnerable to serious complications (such as infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems).

What vaccines do adults need?

* Annual flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.

* Td/Tdap to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

Some additional vaccines you may need (depending on your age, health conditions and other factors) include:

* Hepatitis A

* Hepatitis B

* Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for young adults up to the age of 26 years.

* Meningococcal

* Pneumococcal

* Shingles Adults 60 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. And adults 65 and older are recommended to receive two different types of pneumococcal vaccines one year apart.

Any adult who is a smoker should have a Pneumovax 23 vaccination as they are at high risk for pneumonia.

Traveling to a foreign country-even Mexico or the Caribbean? There may be additional vaccines you need depending on the location. Find out at Countryside Public Health has a program to assist those adults 19 years and old with vaccinations if they do not have health insurance. If you have questions about vaccines or wish to schedule an appointment for vaccinations, call 320-564-3010.