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Back to School: Vaccinations Aren’t Just for Kids

Vaccines are important for adults too. Do you know which ones you need?

It seems back-to-school is getting earlier each year. We are starting to see a continuous stream of pediatric patients getting ready for a new school year. We are hearing about new back packs, excitement about activities and new teachers. Though getting a shot is not on the list of favorite back-to-school activities it is important.

We love our pediatric patients and want to make sure we are keeping them healthy and safe by being fully vaccinated. We care about our adult patients too. Often, our adult patients think vaccinations are just for kids, but that’s not true. Vaccines are for people of all ages. So, as long as you are thinking about your kids’ vaccinations, might as well think about yours as well.

Last year I talked about what need when heading back to school. Here are some vaccines we recommend for our more mature patients.

College Students

Though sending your child off their own can be difficult, you can help protect their health by making sure he or she has the flu, meningitis and HPV vaccines. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is recommended for men and women under the age of 26. It is given in three doses over a six month period.

Adults

Even moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas need vaccines. Everyone should get the flu vaccine. This not only keeps you healthier, but helps your kids and the others around you stay healthier.

You should be vaccinated against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccine (Whooping Cough) if you haven’t received the vaccine in the past. The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for adults with diabetes or who are at risk for the infection. If you smoke, have asthma, are diabetic, or are over the age of 65, a pneumonia vaccine is recommended. If you are age 60 or older the shingles vaccine might be recommended. Other vaccines may include the HPV vaccine, chicken pox, and measles, mumps and rubella if you haven’t been vaccinated in the past or are at high-risk. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.

Vaccines are extremely important not only for personal health, but community wellness as well. By vaccinating yourself and your children you are not only protecting your family, you are helping to prevent the spread of many potentially deadly diseases.

Dr. Heidi Renner is an integral part of the Loyola University Health System’s primary care team. She is double boarded in adult internal medicine and pediatrics and enjoys seeing patients of all ages from infants to geriatrics at the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge. In addition, she is an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in the departments of internal medicine and pediatrics. When not seeing patients she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, traveling and hiking.

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