by Robert L. Maher Jr., Pharm.D, BCGP
One of the best health care resources for the prevention of diseases since first being available at the end of the 18th century has been vaccinations1.
Often when we think of immunizations, we think of the great benefits they do for helping prevent and eradicate diseases during childhood. However, many are not aware that as you get older, you may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases attributed to age, job, travel, or health condition. Over the last few years, it has been reported by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) that an average of 50,000 adults in the United States die each year from vaccine-preventable disease and thousand more suffer serious health problems2.
Currently, the CDC recommends 8 key vaccines based on age to protect against 11 diseases. Examples of these vaccines include the following:
- Influenza vaccine (Flu)
- Td or Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and/or pertussis)
- Herpes Zoster vaccine (shingles), Pneumococcal disease (pneumonia)
Additionally, there are five (5) key vaccines which may be used to protect adults with specific medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease). For more information on what vaccines you should consider, please see Table A below3.
Determining if you need a vaccine and how it may be helpful for you is often not easy to sort out, as the guidelines may change from year to year. Your health care professionals; such as your physician and your pharmacist can be a great resource to assist you in this assessment.
As you may already be aware, pharmacies and pharmacists are available to offer flu shots yearly; however, pharmacists in all 50 states in the United States can provide almost all adult type immunizations.
Here at Patton Pharmacy, our pharmacists are immunization experts and are a great resource in working with you and your health care providers to determine your immunization status and needs.
If you are unsure whether a vaccination may be covered either by your prescription insurance or your medical benefits, talk to our pharmacists! We are able to provide almost all vaccinations including travel vaccines.
Call or visit us today to learn more!
Table A. Common Vaccinations for Adults (Resource www.immunize.org)
- Ventola, C. Lee. “Immunization in the United States: Recommendations, Barriers, and Measures to Improve Compliance: Part 2: Adult Vaccinations.” Pharmacy and Therapeutics8 (2016): 492.
- Green, Gene, and Litjen Tan. “The Importance of Adult Immunizations.” The Hill (Apr. 2016): n. pag. The Hill. Apr. 2016. Web
- Lam, Jerika, and Jeff Goad. “The Burden of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Adults.” Pharmacy Times (Mar. 2017): n. pag. Pharmacy Times. Mar. 2017. Web.