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National Immunization Awareness Month


You Never Outgrow Vaccines

Vaccines are very effective in preventing infections such as influenza, pneumococcal, and hepatitis. The majority of Americans who die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases are adults.

Although children receive the majority of the vaccinations, adults also need to stay up-to- date on certain vaccinations including tetanus and diphtheria. In addition, those adults who have never had chicken pox or measles during childhood should consider being vaccinated. Childhood illnesses such as mumps, measles, and chickenpox can cause serious complications in adults.

Immunizations reduce the number of deaths and disability from infections such whooping cough, also known as pertussis. Unvaccinated people put others, including infants at risk of exposure and developing serious complications.

Immunizations are also an important part of healthcare for older adults, 65 years of age or older. You may be at increased risk for serious illness resulting from certain common infections, such as pneumonia. An annual flu shot is also recommended and especially important because the flu can cause major complications, hospitalization, and death. The best time for getting your flu shot is in September through mid-November, due to the flu season lasting as long as April of the following year.

Adults with certain medical conditions and who are planning to travel to foreign countries may also need to be immunized. Always consult your physician.

Did You Know?

Some adults assume that the vaccines they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives. Generally this is true, except that:

  • Some adults were never vaccinated as children
  • Newer vaccines were not available when some adults were children
  • Immunity can begin to fade over time
  • As we age, we become more susceptible to serious disease caused by common infections (e.g., flu, pneumonia)

Which Vaccines Are Recommended?
  • Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) 1 dose every 10 years
  • Influenza (Flu) 1 dose every year prior to Flu Season
  • Pneumococcal (Pneumonia) 1 dose if unvaccinated or have chronic conditions such as asthma or other respiratory illness, liver disease, heart disease, diabetes or if you are a cigarette smoker.
  • Hepatitis B 3 doses on a 0, 1, and 6 month schedule to protect you from contracting the virus.

Learn the facts, share the facts and save lives:
  • Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adult Immunization Schedule, 2011.
  2. Immunization Action Coalition (IAC). Summary of Recommendations for Adult Immunization, 2011.
  3. UI Healthcare. Immunizations for Seniors, 2011.

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