What Vaccines do Adults Need?
Dr. Gary Goff and his team of practitioners specialize in Adult Immunizations. Immunizations are important to mitigating risk factors and maintaining long-term health. They are also required for certain types of international travel. Please review the list below of recommended immunizations and vaccinations for adults.
Recommended Adult Immunizations:
- Tetanus - Diphtheria - Pertussus: Every 10 years
- Influenza: Annually
- Pneumococcal: Every 7 Years
- Zoster Vaccine for Shingles: Recommended at age 50
- Hepatitis A & B: Recommended for all travelers
Adult Vaccinations Offered by Dr. Goff:
Tetanus, Diptheria & Pertussis
Tetanus can lead to deaths in one out of ten cases. Also known as “lockjaw,” this disease can lead to “locking” of the jaw so that it is impossible to swallow or open the mouth. It can also lead to painful muscle tightening. For adults, we recommend a booster tetanus shot every 10 years.
- Why vaccinate against Tetanus: the bacteria in tetanus is ubiquitious in soil, dust and manure; a lapse in immunity may cause a chance for infection
- 10-20% of cases are fatal
- Can affect people with diabetes or people older than 60
- People with tetanus may spend weeks in intensive care
Diptheria is a highly contagious bacterial infection that causes swelling of the mucuous membranes. The formation of false membranes can cause trouble breathing, heart failure and other complications that may lead to death. It is rare in developed countries due to immunization.
- Benefits: Diptheria can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis, sometimes death
- 1/10 people will die from it
- Diptheria infection occurs among unvaccinated or inadequately vaccinated people
- Although this is not common in the US, diphtheria is common in other countries, so it is important to be fully vaccinated before travelling
Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection. It causes violent and uncontrollable coughing that can make breathing difficult. This respiratory disease is commonly referred to as “whooping cough”
- Benefits: Pertussis can protect you from an illness that causes serious discomfort and may take time off work
- May cause coughing spells that may crack the ribs
- Adults with pertussis can infect infants, who have a high risk of being hospitalized, complications or even death (infants can’t be vaccinated until they are two months old)
*Tdap is the combined vaccination that can prevent all three diseases. The followup booster shot is called Td.
To be protected against pertussis, take the Tdap booster once and follow up every ten years with the Td booster every 10 years. The CDC recommends that adults who have not received the Tdap immunization do so as soon as possible.
- Influenza is a serious disease which can lead to hospitalization and even death. Each flu season affects people differently, so to control for the risk of infection, we recommend getting your Flu Shot annually before Flu Season (October - May)
Pneumococcal disease, also known as pneumococcus
- Can cause many types of illnesses – ear infection, meningitis, sinus infection, blood stream infections
- Also one of the most common causes of pneumonia
- Pneumococcus can be classified as invasive because it infects parts of the body that are normally free from germs (bloodstream and fluids surrounding brain and spinal chord)
- Meningitis can be severe – hospitalization and death
- Spreads by direct contact with respirtaotry systems – saliva or mucous
- Babies younger than 2 are at greatest risk for pneumococcous
- PCV13 is recommended for adults and children and protects against 13 types of pneumococcal disease
- PCV23 is recommended for adults 65+ and 2 years old who are at risk for disease, those who smoke cigarettes or have asthma. Protects against 23 types of pneumacocous
- Vaccines.gov says there are two types of pneumococcas vaccines: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23).
There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines: PCV13 and PCV23. PCV13 protects against 13 types of pneumococcal disease and is the standard for healthy children and adults. For adults older than 65 and adults with chronic health conditions (asthma, cigarette smokers, diabetes, candidate or recipient of a chochlear implant, etc.), we recommend PCV-23.
Zoster vaccine for Shingles:
- Shingles is a painful skin disease caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles can affect people of all ages but it most commonly affects adults older than 60. The VZV virus remains in nerve cells long after a person is infected with chickenpox and can reactivate later in life as shingles. When VZV does reactivate, it travels from the nerve cells to the skin, causing blisters and rashes. Because it inflames the nerves, shingles can be painful and lead to chronic neurological disorders such as post herpetic neuralgia or PHN. The older a person is, the more severe shingles can be. The best way to prevent shingles is vaccination, even if you cannot recall being infected with chickenpox as a child.
- Shingles tends to infect: people older than 50, people with medical conditions, people receiving immunosuppressive drugs.
- Vaccine for shingles is called Zostavax®
- The older a person is, the more severe shingles effects can be
- All adults older than 60 should get the vaccine because of this
- Everyone should do this even if they don’t recall having chickenpox
- It is approved for adults older than 50, but we recommend consulting your healthcare professional
- Shingles occur in people of all ages, but the risk increases with ageRash or blister appears – the virus remains in nerve cells, which have remained dormant. When the virus reactivates, it follows a path from the nerves to skin cells. Because the nerve cells are inflamed, this disease can be very painful.
Hepatitis A Vaccines
- Recommended for children older than 12, travelers to certain countries
- Given as two shots, six months apart
- Also – for adults older than 18, can get a combination Hepatitis A & B shot
- Given as three shots over a period of six months
- OR as three shots over one month and a booster at 12 months
- Can either do the standard six month period or ”accelerated dosing “
- Contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness
- Acute - short term illness happening within six months of an infection, can but does not always lead to chronic infection
- Chronic – when an acute infection remains too long
- Hepatitis A, B & C are caused by different viruses but can have similar symptoms and modes of transmission
- “Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver
- Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease
- Acute and chronic iterations
- Passed when a person ingests fecal matter from an infected person
- According to the World Health Organization, Hepatitis B is prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, Amazon, Eastern and Central Europe.
Please contact Dr. Goff today if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment to get any immunization or vaccination listed on this page.