Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 30

WHY VACCINES
MATTER

The first reason to get immunized is to
protect yourself against illness.
"There are a number of very serious
diseases that can be prevented by vaccination," says Walter A. Orenstein, MD,
president of the National Foundation
for Infectious Diseases. He cited several illnesses that can be avoided
by immunization:
* Pneumonia, which is particularly
dangerous to older adults.
* Influenza, which kills thousands
of people each year, most of whom are
65 and older.
* Shingles, which "can be a terrible disease with prolonged pain,"
Orenstein says.
None of these conditions is trivial,
he says, and they're easy to get vaccinated for at your doctor's office or
a pharmacy.

WHICH SHOTS
DO YOU NEED?

For starters, all adults should get the
influenza vaccine annually. Flu viruses
change quickly, and previous vaccines
might not provide protection against
new strains.
Other shots are required because
of waning immunity, Orenstein says.
That's when protection from the
initial vaccinations decreases over
time. Booster shots-given after
the initial vaccinations-provide
continued protection.
Adults need tetanus and diphtheria
booster shots every 10 years. A onetime booster for pertussis and whooping cough is recommended and can
be given with tetanus and diphtheria,
Orenstein says.
Some adults never received certain
vaccinations in childhood and need
to get them now. Anyone who has
not received the measles,
mumps and rubella

(MMR) vaccine or the varicella vaccine for chickenpox should get them as
adults, Parker Fiebelkorn says.
One vaccine is newer to the scene,
having been approved by the Food and
Drug Administration about a decade
ago. The human papillomavirus (HPV)
vaccine is recommended for females up
to age 26 and males up to age 21. Young
adults who didn't get the vaccine as
adolescents should get it before they hit
those birthdays.

OLDER ADULTS,
DIFFERENT NEEDS

In addition to the immunizations recommended for all adults, those over
age 60 have specific vaccine needs.
People older than 60 should get a shingles vaccine because the risk of getting
the painful skin rash increases as you
age. Those over 60 have a greater than
30 percent chance of getting shingles.
Shingles and chickenpox are caused
by the same virus. People who've had
chickenpox have the inactive virus present in their bodies, and it can reactivate,
causing shingles.
Beginning at age 65, people should
receive pneumococcal vaccines to protect against pneumonia and meningitis.
Those illnesses can be life-threatening
for older people.

Adults need tetanus
and diphtheria booster shots

every
10 years.

30

W IN TER 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 3
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover4
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