Who calls the shots?
Have your kids had all their vaccinations? How about you? Shots aren’t fun, but they’re a critical part of staying healthy. The incidence of serious conditions such as whooping cough is actually on the rise because immunizations are down.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is expected to reach unprecedented levels this year in Minnesota, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling for mass vaccination of adults. Whooping cough is highly contagious and easily spread, and can be mistaken for a cold or bronchitis. Children ages 7 to 10 are at the highest risk; the best way to protect them is for adults who are around them most frequently get vaccinated.
Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that can be caused by both bacteria and viruses. It may also manifest following another illness such as a cold, the flu or bronchitis. Those most at risk include the elderly and people with chronic health problems. The pneumonia vaccine for adults (PPV) protects against 23 types of the infection. Ask your doctor when the best time to be vaccinated is for you.
Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. If you’re 60 years of age or older and have had the chicken pox, ask your doctor if you should receive the shingles vaccine. Those who choose to get it may decrease their chances of developing shingles; however, if were to contract the rash, symptoms may be milder than if you hadn’t been vaccinated.
Travelers’ diseases such as cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, polio, rabies, meningococcal disease, hepatitis A and hepatitis B may affect adults traveling out of the country. Required immunizations will vary depending on the country you visit. To find out more, visit cdc.gov
The State of Minnesota requires that parents supply schools with documentation showing their children have been immunized. Learn more information on your family’s health and immunization needs.