MAYVILLE - The Chautauqua County Health Department is reminding adults in Chautauqua County to take charge of their health and help protect those around them by asking about vaccines at their next doctor's visit.
Vaccinating children is commonplace in the United States. But few adults know they need vaccines other than flu vaccine, and even fewer are fully vaccinated. Each year, tens of thousands of adults needlessly suffer, are hospitalized and even die as a result of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. A recent national Center for Disease Control and Prevention survey showed most U.S. adults are not even aware that they need vaccines throughout their lives to protect against diseases like pertussis, hepatitis, shingles and pneumococcal disease.
Not only can vaccine-preventable diseases make people very sick, but those who get sick may risk spreading certain diseases to others. That's a risk most people do not want to take. Infants, older adults and people with weakened immune systems, like those undergoing cancer treatment, are especially vulnerable to infectious diseases. They are also more likely to have severe illness and complications if they do get sick. Area residents can help protect their health and the health of their loved ones by getting recommended vaccines.
Adults can get vaccines at doctors' offices, pharmacies, workplaces, health clinics and health departments. Visit vaccine.healthmap.org to help find a vaccine provider. Most health insurance plans cover the cost of recommended vaccines. A call to an insurance provider can give people such information.
Not sure what vaccines are needed. The CDC offers a short quiz at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adultquiz to help people find out which vaccines are recommended. All adults should get an annual flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu and Td/Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Other vaccines may be needed based on age, health conditions, occupation and other factors. Those planning to travel outside of the United States should also check on any additional vaccines that may be needed. Some travel-related vaccines are part of a series or are needed months prior to travel to be most effective.
For more information about adult vaccines, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults or contact the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services at 866-604-6789.