Are Your Immunizations Up to Date?

Are Your Immunizations Up to Date?

When you were a kid, going to the doctor meant getting shots. Now that you’re an adult, you may think you’re all done with shots. However, adults need vaccines, too. 

Are your immunizations up to date? 

At MS Family Medicine Health Care PC in Rosedale and Garden City, New York, Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, and our team specialize in wellness and preventive care. We do everything possible to keep our patients healthy, such as making sure their immunizations are current.

In this month’s blog, we talk about immunizations, which vaccines you need, and how to find out if you’re up to date.

What are immunizations?

Immunizations, also called vaccinations, teach your immune system how to protect you from harmful germs. Vaccines generally contain a weakened or dead form of a germ or part of a germ.

The germ components in the vaccine then trigger your body’s immune system to create antibodies that can fight against the germ. Then, when you come in contact with the actual germ in the future, your body recognizes the germ and releases antibodies to fight against it, so you don’t get too sick or sick at all.

Immunizations help protect you and the community you live in. If enough people are immune to a contagious disease, the germ will have a harder time spreading from one person to the next, which can reduce the risk of an outbreak. 

Which immunizations do I need?

The type of vaccines you need will depend on your immunization history, age, potential exposures (through your job or travel), and personal health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a vaccination schedule that we use to determine which vaccines you need and when.

Some of the vaccines you need as an adult include:

We may also recommend pneumococcal vaccines for older adults to protect against a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, which can cause pneumonia, meningitis, or sepsis. 

Checking your immunization status

How do you know if your immunizations are up to date? First, talk with your parents or caregiver to see if they have a copy of your childhood immunization records, or ask your health care provider.

If you don’t have any records, we can do an immunization titer test, which is a blood test that measures the antibody levels for specific germs to determine your immunization status. We use the results from this test to determine which vaccines you might need. 

Immunity declines over time, and you may need booster shots to stay protected. This is why you need a Tdap vaccine every 10 years. We also recommend annual flu vaccines for everyone 6 months of age and older. The influenza virus that causes the flu adapts and changes, and the annual flu vaccine helps provide protection against the most current strains. 

Immunizations are part of your preventive health plan, helping protect you from sickness. If you’re unsure about your immunization status or need to update your vaccines, book an appointment online or over the phone with MS Family Medicine Health Care PC today. We can talk with you about vaccinations and make sure you get the ones you need.

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