Sometimes we get sloppy about keeping up on our family medicine recommended immunization schedule. Polio and diphtheria? Those diseases are nothing but history, right? Yes, they are history, but only because of mass immunization efforts a long time ago. Until a disease is completely eradicated (yes, there is still the odd polio case), make it a point to hew closely to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published vaccine schedule throughout your entire life. While occasional media stories might question the safety and need of one vaccine or another, research shows these shots keep diseases from becoming epidemic.
Infants and Children
It is at this early stage in life, up to six-years of age, that the human body is most susceptible to dangerous diseases. A partial list of critical vaccinations are rotavirus, chickenpox, mumps, hepatitis A and B, measles, pertussis, polio, pneumonia, rubella, etc. The important point is not that you memorize each vaccine needed before the the age of six, and the terrible symptoms of each disease. More important is to lay your hands on a vaccination schedule and get each one done at the appropriate age.
Pre-teens and Teens
Children from ages 7-18 are not out of the woods when it comes to immunization clinic Newmarket. As with infants and younger children, it’s a good idea to find an official published schedule and make sure your child is up to date. Some shots, like the flu, and to a lesser extent, pneumonia, are recommended for all ages every year. The age 11-12 is an especially important year when all children should receive a booster for diphtheria, human papillomavirus, and meningococcal. Other shots might be recommended for children who are at increased risk for certain health or lifestyle conditions. Check the chart or ask your family doctor.
As much as you may not want to hear the words, you never outgrow the need for vaccines. Annual flu shots should continue as long as you’re alive. Older people or those with immune system issues may want to add a yearly pneumonia shot at the same time. Both these shots are easy and inexpensive. You normally won’t even need an appointment at your local walk-in clinic or flu shot clinic. Other vaccines may or may not be recommended depending upon lifestyle, health conditions, and where you travel in the world. An important one to remember is the combo booster (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) which you should receive every ten years.
The bottom line is that we have been able to get rid of diseases from days gone by precisely because large chunks of the populace have seen fit to get the recommended immunizations. It’s not written in stone that we couldn’t see a recurrence of historical diseases if we get careless.