Immunization and Vaccine Awareness

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immunization-and-vaccine-awarenessAugust is National Immunization and Vaccine Awareness Month. This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. You have the power to protect yourself and your family against serious diseases with vaccines. Shots or vaccines help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. Vaccines aren’t just for kids – adults need to get vaccinated to stay protected from serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia.

Everyone should get a flu vaccine every year. Adults need a Td vaccine every ten years. Healthy adults 50 years and older should get a shingles vaccine. Adults 65 years or older need one dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine followed by one dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. Adults younger than 65 years who have certain health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or HIV should also get one or both of these vaccines. Adults may need other vaccines based on health conditions, job, lifestyle, or travel habits.

You may not realize that you need vaccines throughout your life. Adults need to keep their vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. You are also at risk for different diseases as an adult. Vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available.

All adults should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every year, and the Tdap vaccine.

 

Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine protects against flu, a potentially serious, contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Changes in immune, heart, and lung functions during pregnancy make pregnant women more likely to get seriously ill from the flu. The flu may also increase the chances that the developing baby will have serious problems. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October, if possible.

 

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP or Tdap) Vaccine

DTaP or Tdap vaccine protects against three serious diseases:

  • Diphtheria is a serious infection that causes a thick covering in the back of the nose or throat. It can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death.
  • Tetanus is a potentially deadly infection that causes painful muscle stiffness and lockjaw.
  • Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious disease known for uncontrollable, violent coughing that often makes it hard to breathe. It can be deadly for babies.

Babies and children younger than 7 years old receive DTaP, while older children and adults receive Tdap.

CDC recommends whooping cough vaccination for all babies and children, preteens and teens, and pregnant women. Adults who have never received a dose of Tdap should also get vaccinated against pertussis.

 

 

Schedule Your Immunizations

If you are overdue for an annual physical or want the services of a new primary care doctor, LaGrange Medical Center is ready to help. Our location at 6170 Joliet Road, Countryside, IL, 60525 is convenient to all of Southwest Chicago, including Argo, Bedford Park, Bridgeview, Brookfield, Burbank, Burr Ridge, Darien, Hickory Hills, Hinsdale, Hodgkins, Justice, LaGrange, LaGrange Highlands, Lyons, McCook, Palos Hills, Summit, Western Springs and Willow Springs. Contact us today at 708-352-0330 to schedule your appointment.

All Health Insurance Marketplace plans and most other private insurance plans must cover certain vaccines without charging a copayment or coinsurance when provided by an in-network provider. This is true even for patients who have not met a yearly deductible. We accept most insurance plans and also work with patients who would prefer to pay cash.