Vaccines Adults Should Consider Getting for More Protection

doctor with a vial of vaccine

For the past year or so, there’s been much discussion about the Covid-19 vaccine—and rightly so. But this isn’t the only vaccine they need.

In fact, like children, adults can also benefit from receiving the right vaccines available in urgent care clinics that can also offer wellness checks and vaccine reaction monitoring.

For a more updated vaccination record, consider getting the following:

1. Flu Vaccine

Seasonal vaccines typically include vaccines specific to an upcoming season and vaccines for common strains of bacteria and viruses during that time. Influenza vaccines are available in two forms: trivalent or quadrivalent vaccines, depending on whether they contain three or four strains of the virus.

Trivalent vaccines typically include all four strains necessary to cover seasonal flu, while quadrivalent vaccines add one more strain designed to protect against a fifth anticipated strain of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends yearly vaccines for everyone over 6 months old, with rare exceptions. Vaccine composition often changes because circulating strains change annually.

2. Rabies Vaccine

Rabies is an acute viral disease already rare in the United States partly due to an aggressive campaign on vaccinating pets, including ferals and strays. According to the CDC, only 25 cases had been reported from 2009 to 2018.

However, once the clinical symptoms appear, the infection is also 100 percent fatal. Besides immunizing pets against the virus, humans bitten by an animal, especially one that cannot be monitored, can receive a rabies vaccine. The vaccine works to provide immunity against the rabies virus.

The vaccines are available as either part of a three-dose series given over one month or as two doses that do not require an interval between injections. Side effects include soreness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, and irritability. People who receive rabies vaccines containing killed viruses should be monitored for 10 days for any adverse reactions following administration.

doctor holding lung x-ray

3. Pneumonia Vaccine

Not many Americans know that pneumonia actually kills at least 50,000 people a year. Certain high-risk groups, including older adults and immunocompromised people, are more likely to develop the infection and more severe or life-threatening symptoms.

One of the best forms of protection against the disease is the pneumonia vaccine. So far, there are two types: PCV13 and PPSV23. They differ in the number of serotypes or pneumonia strains that they can prevent or develop antibodies from.

Some are confused about which one to pick or whether they should consider both. The CDC strongly recommends PPSV23 to those who are 65 years old and above. Younger ones can opt for PCV13. However, in certain situations, such as when the patient is immunocompromised, the doctor might suggest both vaccines be administered about a year apart from each other. They can receive PCV13 first.

4. HPV Vaccine

The HPV vaccine can significantly decrease the risks of developing infections and cancer like cervical cancer due to the human papilloma virus. Although this is usually associated with women, boys can also benefit from it since they can pass on the virus to their partners.

The HPV vaccine is administered to preteens starting at 11 years old. Sometimes, those 26 years old and above might no longer qualify unless their healthcare provider believes they can still benefit from it. One of the reasons might be the fact women can already undergo a pap smear test at this age.

Doctors can provide HPV vaccines in two doses for people between 9 and 14 years old. Those older can receive this in three doses with an interval of one month after the first dose and then six months after the second.

5. Tdap Vaccine

What is the tdap vaccine? It protects against three potentially deadly diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It is given to adults, adolescents, and even children as young as 11 years old. The tdap vaccine is given in three shots, starting at age 11 or 12.

Since 2012, the CDC has recommended giving Tdap vaccine to pregnant women. Not only can it protect the mothers-to-be from these conditions, but they can also pass on the immunity to the newborn. It can protect the baby from tetanus and diphtheria until they get their first dose, preferably when they’re 2 months old.

The vaccine can be administered for pregnant women when they’re between 27 and 36 weeks of gestation, although the earlier, the better. This doesn’t mean that fathers can choose not to get the vaccine. No one without a Tdap vaccine should spend time with a newborn.

Getting the vaccine from an urgent care clinic ensures that you can always talk to a healthcare provider who can educate you further on the advantages and risks of each and which ones are best for you.

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