During childhood vaccines play an important role in keeping kids healthy, but doctors say as we get older there are still some vaccines we need to make sure we’re getting.
Lee Health family medicine physician Dr. Arthur Morrow says vaccines that cover chicken pox, hepatitis B, even tetanus, are all required during childhood. “We all know and remember that from childhood we tend to get a lot of shots, especially in the first 4 or 5 years, but not many people keep that in mind once they go into adulthood.”
As we age there are some vaccines we need to make sure are kept current. “There are vaccines that are important to adults as well. Chief among those is to make sure your tetanus shot is up to date. If you haven’t had the one that includes pertussis in it in a long time you should get that one which is called a T-dap,” said Dr. Morrow.
A tetanus shot is good for ten years. It protects patients form the bacteria that can cause lock jaw, muscle spasms, even death. Another important vaccine for adults is the shingles vaccines. “The zostavax helps to prevent the disease shingles, which sometimes occurs in older adults,” said Dr. Morrow.
Doctors recommend patients 60 and older get the shingles vaccine, whether or not they’ve already had the virus. “If you have plans to go out of the country, particularly to the more underdeveloped, what we used to refer to as third world countries, where diseases that are not prevalent to the United States are prevalent there--Things like yellow fever, typhoid, malaria, etc. so if you plan to take a trip to any area where those sorts of diseases may be encountered it’s a good idea to consult your physician,” said Dr. Morrow.
Having regular visits with your doctor about any lifestyle changes or concerns can also help them decide if you’re in need of a vaccine.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.