Are You Up to Date on Your Vaccines?

Are You Up to Date on Your Vaccines?

Did you know that every year thousands of adults in the United States catch a vaccine-preventable disease and end up in the hospital? Vaccines aren’t only for kids. Are you up to date on your vaccines?

At Gulf West Medical Associates in Port Richey, Florida, our focus is on providing preventive healthcare. Our board-certified internal medicine physician, Dr. Rajesh Dave, provides our patients with the education and tools they need to stay healthy, like updating their vaccines.

Here, we talk about vaccines for adults, the types of vaccines you need, and when you need them.

Vaccines for adults

Like your annual physical exam, vaccines are all about keeping you healthy. Vaccines teach your immune system how to protect you from contagious diseases.

Yes, you get a lot of vaccines during childhood and adolescence. However, immunization for some of those vaccines wears off over time, and you need boosters as an adult. Plus, some vaccines you need annually, and you may need others under specific circumstances (age, job, travel). 

What vaccines do you need and when

When determining whether your vaccines are up to date, you need to know which ones are recommended for adults and when to get them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a vaccine schedule and recommends the following:

The CDC suggests other vaccines like hepatitis A, meningococcal, and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) for adults-at-risk because of their job, overall health, or lifestyle. 

You may also need the COVID-19 vaccine or a booster shot. On July 19, 2022, the CDC recommended a new vaccine for COVID-19 — Novavax for adults 18 and older. This vaccine will be available to everyone in the fall of 2022. 

Pfizer-BioNTech is also working on a booster shot to help fight the Omicron variants. They expect this booster shot to be available by this fall, too. 

Are your vaccines up to date?

The only way to know if your vaccines are up to date is to ask your primary care provider. We keep records of your vaccinations and can tell if you have the vaccines you need.

When you change health care providers, request a copy of your immunization records. Unfortunately, no national database tracks vaccinations, and it’s up to you to keep your records. 

If you can’t find your vaccine records, we can run blood work to check your titers (laboratory tests), measuring the presence of antibodies you have for specific vaccines in your blood. If you test positive, you're immune. If you test negative, you need to update your vaccines.

Vaccines protect you from serious diseases. If you don’t know whether your vaccines are up to date or not, we can help at Gulf West Medical Associates. Make your appointment today by calling our office at 727-848-0247 or booking online

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