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What Vaccines Do I Really Need?

Vaccines protect you from contagious diseases that can affect your long-term health. While you get multiple vaccines as a child to keep you safe while your immune system is still developing, you still need to stay updated on your vaccinations as an adult.

At More MD, family practitioners John Moran, MD, and Tim Urell, DO, offer adult vaccines, including the seasonal flu shot, to ensure your health is protected. They can determine which vaccines you really need based on your medical history, your existing health, and a variety of factors that put you at risk for serious diseases.

An overview of vaccines

Your immune system is your natural defense against infections and illness. Your blood is made up of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. You also have white blood cells that help fight infection.

When you come into contact with a germ, your immune system starts building up its defenses to protect you from getting sick. After you recover from your illness, your immune system remembers how it worked to protect you in the future.

Vaccines work by helping you build immunity to a disease before you’re infected. A shot introduces your immune system to an illness, so it can begin building up protection. 

Types of vaccines

There are different approaches to how vaccines introduce disease into your body. Live vaccines contain a living virus or bacteria that have been weakened before injection. Inactive vaccines are made of a dead virus that helps your immune system recognize and remember it.

While the vaccine helps your body recognize germs, it doesn’t give you the disease. You might experience mild side effects after a shot, which is a sign that the injection has triggered your natural immune system response.

Vaccines you need as an adult

The vaccines you receive as a child don’t last a lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) creates a timeline for adult vaccines based on the type of vaccine, your age, your health, and other important factors.

In general, you can expect to need several vaccines throughout adulthood to protect you from:

Young adults up to 26 should receive the human papillomavirus (HPV), an infection that can increase your risk for cervical cancer and other types of cancer.

For those over the age of 50, the shingles vaccine is recommended to prevent complications from a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine are also recommended to reduce your risk for meningitis, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections.

If you plan to travel outside of the United States, you might also need additional vaccines to protect you from diseases that are more common in other countries. These vaccines will depend on the country you’re traveling to and might include shots that protect you from malaria, yellow fever, and typhoid.

Addressing your individual needs

Our team at More MD can help you determine which vaccines you need as an adult. We also provide resources if you’re unable to receive a vaccine because of medical conditions or allergies.

If you’re not sure that vaccines are right for you, you can discuss your options with Dr. Moran and Dr. Urell. This ensures you can make the most informed decision about your health and protect yourself from the potentially life-threatening side effects of contagious diseases.

Schedule a consultation to learn more about the vaccines you need by calling the More MD office nearest you or by booking an appointment online today.

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