Are Your Vaccinations Up-to-Date? Why Adults Need to Get Vaccinated.

The last week of April is National Infant Immunization Week, a time to educate yourself and others on the important of vaccinations for children. With plenty of misinformation and pseudoscience circulating the internet when it comes to kids and vaccinations (particularly the disproved “link” between autism and the MMR vaccine), in recent years there has been an overall decline in vaccinations among children.

As an adult, you may think that this doesn’t pose a risk to you, especially if you don’t have kids that might interact with non-vaccinated children. But the reality is that the growing unvaccinated population does affect your health.

Why Adults Should Care About Current Vaccinations

A Declining Herd Immunity

Herd immunity occurs when enough of a population has been vaccinated that contagious diseases can’t spread through a population, effectively protecting those who have not yet developed an immunity. Herd immunity is especially crucial for populations such as newborns who can’t be vaccinated or people with compromised immune systems, but it also protects adults who never received the correct vaccination dosages or who simply haven’t kept up-to-date with their vaccination schedules.

A glance at recent health headlines confirms that herd immunities have declined worldwide: for example, both Canada and the UK have experienced recent measles outbreaks, while California had a whooping cough (or pertussis) outbreak in 2010, with over 9,500 cases reported and 10 fatalities.

A breakdown in herd immunity is dangerous for everyone, which is why adults should do their part and stay updated on their vaccinations.

How Long Are Vaccinations Effective?Test Smartly Labs | Why Adults Need to Get Vaccinated.

Some people might think they’d be safe in the midst of a pertussis outbreak because they were vaccinated against the virus as a child. That’s not so, though. The Tdap vaccine that protects against pertussis, tetanus, and diptheria needs to be renewed every 10 years after your initial childhood vaccination. Other vaccinations need to be given each year, such as the flu shot, which is specially-formulated to protect against very specific strains of influenza predicted to be most prevalent next flu season. Talk to your health care professional about what vaccinations you need to renew and when.

New Developments in Vaccines

Even if you were vaccinated as a child, there are new vaccines that you may not have received — either because they are recommended for adults over a certain age, or they were recently created. For example, the shingles vaccine (created in 2006) is recommended for adults 60+, while the HPV vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006.

Putting Others At Risk

You might not interact with kids or individuals with compromised immunities, but you might come into contact with people who do. With herd immunities in danger, being lax on your vaccination can put these vulnerable populations at risk.

Check To See If You’re Protected.

Not sure if you were vaccinated against measles as a kid? Need to get your flu shot? Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park has you covered. With our titers test, you can verify whether you have the necessary immunity to keep yourself (and others) safe against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, Mononucleosis, and hepatitis B. We also offer quick, walk-in flu shots — and even though we’re nearing the end of flu season, it’s still a good time to get your shot, especially if you’re pregnant!

To learn more about the importance of vaccination and our services, call Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park at (913) 815-0988.

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