Vaccines Are Not Just for Kids
by Amy Sgueglia, MSN, RN, MAIC Facilitator, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the COVID-19 vaccine have underscored the importance of vaccination as a crucial component of public health and disease prevention. It also highlighted the importance of adult vaccination. As with children, adults need vaccines to protect their communities against serious and life-threatening diseases, reduce the spread of disease, and maintain good health. But did you know that the COVID vaccine is just one of several vaccines that are recommended for adults?
Adults need vaccines across their lifespan. Vaccine recommendations may vary depending on age, health status, and lifestyle. It is recommended that most adults receive vaccines for Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (TDAP), Hepatitis B, Shingles, Pneumonia, and an annual influenza vaccine. Adults with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, and kidney disease are at higher risk for serious problems from certain vaccine-preventable diseases and may require additional vaccines. All adults should speak to their healthcare providers about which vaccines they need.
As the facilitator of the Massachusetts Adult Immunization Coalition (MAIC), I recognize the importance of adult vaccination. I encourage healthcare providers to explore which vaccines their patients need, emphasize the importance of vaccination, address their patients’ questions and concerns using plain language, remind patients when they are due for vaccines, and make it convenient for patients to be vaccinated. MAIC is always eager to collaborate with colleagues on adult immunization initiatives and I’m excited to see what the future holds for adult immunization.