RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Vaccines are essential for the prevention of potentially devastating diseases such as measles, whooping cough and the flu.
This past week a national advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control released their newest guidelines for recommended shots for adults.
- How do vaccines work and why are they important in adults?
Vaccines protect us from potentially deadly diseases. We have very strict vaccine criteria in children but we often forget that adults need vaccines as well. In particular, adults should make the flu vaccine a priority. Every year, thousands die from complications of the flu. Vaccines contain either dead or attenuated (live but inactive) virus or bacteria-when injected, the vaccines stimulate our own immune systems to make antibodies to protect us from an attack by the virus or bacteria at a later time. Most vaccines take seven to 10 days to be effective.
Unfortunately, only 20 percent of adults 19 and older have had a Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
- What are the most important changes to adult vaccinations that the CDC is recommending?
Every year, the CDC reviews the vaccine criteria and occasionally makes updates. This year there were several changes.
Here are the major changes you need to be aware of:
- No more nasal flu vaccine -it is just not as effective. Adults should get the flu shot in order to receive adequate protection from the influenza virus.
- Egg allergy patients can now receive any flu shot (but under supervision)
- Only two doses needed for the HPV vaccine instead of three
- Now people with Hepatitis C should get the Hepatitis B vaccine
- What are the risks of taking vaccines?
The most common side effects of vaccines are pain, soreness and redness at the injection site. Most of these are self-limited and resolve overnight.