You have your kids vaccinated without fail, but don’t forget—parents need vaccines too! In fact, parents may even need them more. Our older, weaker bodies are more prone to infection, especially because of the toll that stress puts on our immune system. And there are many serious and fatal diseases (yes, fatal). Our kids need us to be around!
Here are some of the vaccines that adults need, based on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Don’t waste time. Schedule an appointment with a doctor. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids.
The flu vaccine
The flu can hit anyone, anytime. Since you can get flu from your kids (who are germ magnets, we all know) or from the people in the office, schedule this every year. You also need to get it if you’re pregnant, to protect your health and that of your baby’s.
Grandparents need the flu vaccine, too. Flu-related complications are more common and more severe among people who are 50 years and older. However, people who are allergic to eggs should not get the flu vaccine.
The pneumonia vaccine is very crucial for anyone who’s 65 years and older. However, if you have a weak immune system, and are prone to respiratory infections (you get colds and coughs frequently, or have asthma). You also need it if you have a chronic illness, which significantly lowers your immune system and your increases your risk for complications if you do get it.
Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine
This is important for anyone who is 19 years or older. It’s very important for anyone who always handles kids (like, er, parents) and if you have just given birth or are planning to get pregnant. You can’t get the vaccine during pregnancy, though. You need a booster shot every 10 years.
This is crucial for teens, especially those who are going off to college and will be living in a dormitory. Get the vaccine if there’s been an outbreak in your community, or if you travel frequently.
Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine
The older you are, the more deadly chicken pox is. It’ll last longer, the scars will be worse, and you can develop all sorts of complications. So if you never got chicken pox when you were a kid, head to the doctor now. You will need two doses, about two months apart. You can’t get the vaccine if you’re pregnant, so do take it if you are planning to conceive. Chicken pox during pregnancy can cause complications.
Measles, mumps and rubella
These are some of the most common childhood diseases, so all parents need it because your child could get it or be a carrier. This is very important if you are planning to conceive, because if you catch any of these diseases during pregnancy, your baby is at risk for birth defects. When you go get the vaccine, bring your teen—he may need a booster shot.
Human papillomavirus vaccine
This vaccine significantly reduces your risk for cervical cancer, genital warts, and other cervical diseases. It should be given to anyone who is sexually active. The vaccine has 3 doses, taken several months apart (your doctor will give you your vaccine schedule). You can’t take this vaccine if you are pregnant or sick.
Hepatitis A and B
You are at higher risk for Hepatitis A if you have a liver disease, are a man who has sex with other men, or work in the health care industry.
You are at risk for Hepatitis B if you are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, or work in the health care industry.
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