Do adults need immunizations too?

I’ll never forget walking into the doctor’s office right before I started kindergarten.  My mom told me that once we were finished with the appointment we could go get ice cream.  We never got ice cream unless it was someone’s birthday so to say I was excited was an understatement.

It wasn’t until halfway through the appointment that I realized something suspicious was going on.  My mom had shifty eyes and the conversation she was having with the nurse was so cryptic.

Then I knew what was about to happen.  I knew those eyes, I’d seen them before.  It could only mean one thing, shots.  And I was right.

As you can tell I haven’t quite moved on from my mother’s betrayal and the moments of my kindergarten immunizations haven’t quite left me.

So what does that have to do with this adult more than 20 years later?  I’m just realizing that I may have to look at myself in the mirror with those same shifty eyes and have that same cryptic conversation, this time I’ll be talking to myself.

Did you know that as adults we need to have immunizations again?  Yeah, and you thought you were off the hook!

I spoke with the doctors at Ogden Internal Medicine to get the low down on what immunizations adults need.

  • Dr. Melissa Bentley told me thing to understand about immunizations is that they don’t last forever.   The shots that we received when we were young often need to be updated with booster shots about every ten years.  A few other reasons to get immunized as an adult are: If you were never immunized as a child
  • Immunity can fade over time
  • As we get older, we are more susceptible to serious disease that can be caused by common infections
  • Vaccine recommendations change over time

So what immunizations do we need?

  • According to the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices (ACIP), it is recommended that the HPV vaccine be administered to all women through the age of 26.  This vaccine can act as an aid against cervical cancer.
  • If you never received the chicken pox vaccine, Dr. Bentley recommends getting the varicella vaccine.  This will protect you if your little ones come down with the chicken pox.
  • The ACIP recommends an additional one or two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine be administered to adults between the ages of 19-55.
  • If work in high-risk environments like drug rehab centers or STD clinics, you should be vaccinated for Hepatitis B.

If you are unsure of your current immunization status, try visiting USIIS, Utah’s statewide immunization records system.  If you find you are behind on your immunizations or would like to have additional vaccines administered, contact Ogden Internal Medicine at 801.475.8600 to schedule an appointment.

 

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