GREENSBORO, N.C. —
Vaccinating children is a hot topic that’s often in the news. But what about vaccines for adults? There are several adult vaccines to protect against diseases including shingles and pneumonia, but should everyone get them? Consumer Reports explains with this dose of preventive medicine.
Even if you were vaccinated as a child, doctors recommend several vaccines for adults: an annual flu shot, a Tdap vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, and a TD booster every 10 years to protect against tetanus and diphtheria. Then there’s the shingles vaccine for people age 50 and older, and at 65, one for pneumonia.
Another vaccine some adults are considering protects against HPV, or the human papillomavirus, which can cause cancer in women and men.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the HPV vaccine for women through age 26 and men through age 21, although the Food and Drug Administration has approved it for people up to age 45.
Are you worried about that “icky feeling” you might get after a vaccine? CR says that a shot might cause some mild side effects like a sore arm or even a slight fever. But if you do get sick after being vaccinated, it’s probably just a coincidence.
At least 30,000 people die each year due to complications from diseases that could have been prevented with a vaccine. CR says that although they can’t guarantee you won’t get sick, vaccines can improve your odds and even make symptoms less severe if you do catch something like the flu.