Do You Need More Vaccinations? 4 Scenarios Where You Can't Rely On Childhood Vaccines Alone

If you think vaccines are only for kids, think again. Each year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues a calendar outlining recommended vaccines for adults who are 19 or older. Believe it or not, it's recommended that all adults get between one and a little over a dozen vaccines each year, depending on their individual circumstances. Chances are, you're due for a vaccine now. You just don't realize it. Following are four scenarios where you can't rely on the vaccines you got as a child:

Recommended Recurring Vaccinations

Some vaccinations are recommended for all adults on a recurring schedule throughout their lifetime. For example, all adults are urged to get an annual flu shot. Unfortunately, only 32 percent of adults under the age of 50 get a flu shot. The percentage of people getting their flu shot increases with age. About 63 percent of those over the age of 65 get a flu shot. However, the CDC recommends vaccinations for 100 percent of the population. They also recommend a tetanus booster every 10 years. If you're not up to date on either of these shots, you should get them.

Obscure Vaccination Documentation

If you're not sure whether or not you've received certain vaccinations or if your documentation is obscure or non-existent, the CDC recommends that you receive all the routine vaccines listed on their adult schedule. If you haven't been exposed to certain illnesses, such as chickenpox, they may recommend that you get the vaccine to prevent future infection. 

Medical Risk Factors

If you have certain medical risk factors, you may need special vaccinations. Those in the medical profession who routinely come into contact with bodily fluids, for example, should get a hepatitis B vaccination. Adults with heart disease and/or lung disease may be required to get a pneumococcal vaccine. If you're sexually active, your doctor may recommend a vaccination that will protect you from the human papillomavirus. 

Travel/Relocation Considerations

If you plan to travel or move to another country, you may need a round of vaccinations before you go. Certain illnesses are more prevalent in other parts of the world, you will want to make sure you are protected from them before you encounter them. 

As you can see, there are several circumstances in which adults should be vaccinated. If you're not sure which vaccines are right for you, talk to a care center like Snowy Range Health Center as soon as possible.