August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and when we generally speak about vaccines and immunizations, most people think about children. And you should - as vaccines for children can help reduce the risk of all kinds of diseases that at one point of our history were major health issues.
But vaccines aren’t just for children. People of all ages can get shots to protect them from serious disease. Just like you hear about every year regarding flu shots - it’s important that you get it done.
Here’s a quick list of why an adult needs to be vaccinated:
1) They help keep you healthy!
2) They are as important as diet and exercise. Your body can’t consistently function when it’s battling disease!
3) The diseases haven’t disappeared! The United States is accessed by people all over the world, every day, and it’s possible that they could carry a virus or bacteria with them.
4) Vaccines are safe. The US has the best post-licensure surveillance system in the world. Vaccines are very safe.
5) Vaccines could mean the difference from life and death. Every year, approximately 50,000 US adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases in the US.
6) Vaccines does give you the disease that they are trying to prevent. Some vaccines contain a “killed” virus, and its impossible to get the disease. Others have weakened viruses that ensure you cannot catch the disease.
7) Young and healthy people do get sick. While the very young and elderly are at greatest risk, a vaccine-preventable disease can infect anyone.
8) You can infect other, sometimes more vulnerable, people. If you get the infection, not everyone around you - children and elderly - has the same immune system. Protect those around you by getting a vaccine.
9) Diseases are expensive! Medical costs, lost wages from missed work - it piles up. Much cheaper to just get the vaccine.
10) Because people need you! You’re important. Whether it’s your family, co-workers, friends… people depend on each other, and if you’re too sick, you can’t be there for them!
This month, do your part in encouraging those in your friends and family circle to get vaccinated.