Vaccination plays an important, preventive role in reducing risk for serious, sometimes deadly, diseases across the lifespan. Therefore, California Health & Longevity Institute joins other medical societies to underscore the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.
Vaccine recipients help prevent the spread of disease, especially to those most vulnerable such as infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases and / or immune system dysfunction. Your physician is a great resource to ensure that you are as protected as possible, especially as opportunities for such prevention have increased dramatically in the recent past.
Just this year a new schedule for adults has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).
Vaccines may be recommended based on your age, occupation, medical status, or health conditions. Individualized protocols may be required for, amongst other considerations, pregnant women; individuals with immune system issues; people with diabetes; and those with heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease.
Ask your physician about your need for adhering to some of the general recommendations such as annual influenza vaccination; every 10 year Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccination as well as one during the third trimester of each pregnancy; shingles vaccination at age 50; and pneumonia vaccination at age 65. It is best for many people to obtain earlier vaccination, so make sure to ask about that.
Vaccination against shingles serves as an example of the kinds of considerations one should take into account when discussing appropriate vaccination timing. Recently, a new shingles vaccine (Shingrix brand recombinant zoster vaccine) has become available, and most individuals should receive this new, generally more protective and longer lasting, one – including most people at least 50 years of age; people who have had shingles previously (after a delay determined in consultation); and people who have received the old shingles vaccine (after a delay of at least 8 weeks). Discussion regarding appropriateness will often center around issues outlined in the paragraphs above, the need for two doses of the new vaccine (as opposed to only one for the old one), and an increase in the specific risks of mild to moderate side effects (including some that may preclude everyday activities).
Also, ask about the optimal timing for your receipt of others vaccines such as those that protect you and others from human papilloma virus (HPV); meningitis; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); chicken pox; and infection from Haemophilus influenzae type b.
When planning international travel, also, make sure to understand specific vaccination requirements based on your destinations, and leave ample time for receiving full protection.