Vaccinations: Preventive Medicine for Kids and Adults
Immunizations aren't just kid stuff. Adults also need protection against infectious disease. Yet, surveys find that most American adults, and many children, fail to get the recommended shots that protect against tetanus, hepatitis b, and other possibly fatal diseases.
Before we had vaccines, small pox, polio, and other diseases swept through the world's cities and towns killing or crippling thousands. Small pox has been conquered. Polio is controlled. Yet, each year thousands of Americans suffer measles, tetanus, and other infectious diseases that could have been prevented by a timely vaccination.
Staying in touch with your family physician and keeping track of vaccinations will help ensure that you and your family get the full benefit of these safe and effective preventive health measures.
- Babies between birth and 15 months of age should be immunized against:
- hepatitis B, a serious viral infection of the liver;
- Haemophilus b, a bacterial infection that can cause meningitis -- an infection of the tissue around the spinal cord or brain;
- diphtheria, tetanus (lock jaw) and pertussis (whooping cough); polio;
- measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles); and chicken pox, a new vaccine recommended by public health authorities and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Many adults don't know that they, too, need regular vaccinations.
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that adults get:
- a tetanus-diphtheria booster shot every 10 years;
- flu shots every fall ( if over age 65 or if suffering from chronic lung diseases such as asthma or chronic bronchitis); and
- other vaccinations as your family physician suggests to protect you against pneumonia, hepatitis b, measles, mumps, and rubella.
Family physicians are medical specialists who take care of you and your family. They are trained to treat nine out of 10 medical problems and can help you get the health care services you and your family need, including vaccinations.
The preceding article was provided as a public service in support of Family Health Month by The American Academy of Family Physicians, 8880 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri 64114-2797 USA, (800) 274-2237, ext. 4218, or (816) 333-9700; FAX: (816) 333-3344
Similar of Vaccinations: Preventive Medicine for Kids and Adults