Not just for the kids: Adults need immunizations, too

VANCOUVER, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Most parents understand the importance of immunizing their children against vaccine preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough, but did you know there are a number of vaccines adults may need, too?

As part of National Immunization Awareness Week from April 26 to May 3, 2014, British Columbia's pharmacists are reminding adults to review your own immunization history and ensure you're protected. Here are three examples to consider:

  1. Tetanus

    Spring weather is drawing us outdoors, and whether you're gardening, hiking, or working around dogs and horses, it's important for all adults to ensure you're immunized against diphtheria and tetanus. The bacteria that causes tetanus is found in soil, manure or dust, and can enter the human body through cuts or puncture wounds. Booster doses are recommended for adults every 10 years.

  2. Shingles

    If you're over the age of 50, or have a weakened immune system due to disease or medications, you should seriously consider a shingles vaccine. Shingles is a painful skin rash with blisters caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. In some people who have had chickenpox, the virus becomes active again later in life and causes shingles.

    About one in three people will get shingles in their lifetime. The shingles vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of getting shingles by 50 per cent, and only one dose provides protection.

  3. Measles, mumps and rubella

    If you're planning to travel outside of North America, a post-secondary student, or serving in the military, it's important that you are immunized against measles, mumps and rubella. The MMR vaccine is the best way to protect against these serious and sometimes fatal diseases. It is recommended that people born in 1970 or later get two doses of the vaccine.

These are just a few of the recommended routine immunizations for healthy adults. For more information about how to protect yourself through immunizations, talk to your local pharmacist or other health care provider, or visit http://www.immunizebc.ca/get-vaccinated/adult-immunization.

About the BC Pharmacy Association

The British Columbia Pharmacy Association is a not-for-profit professional association that represents almost 2,800 pharmacists and more than 800 pharmacies throughout British Columbia. Recognized as the voice for community pharmacy, the Association aims to support and advance the professional role and economic viability of its members so they may provide enhanced patient-centred care.

SOURCE British Columbia Pharmacy Association

For further information: Elise Riedlinger, Manager, Communications, elise.riedlinger@bcpharmacy.ca, 604-269-2866