Not just for the kids: Adults need immunizations, too

VANCOUVER, April 28, 2015 /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 25 to May 2, 2015, British Columbia's community 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 they'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 of vaccine provides protection.

3. Measles, mumps and rubella

The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to protect against these serious and sometimes fatal diseases. It is recommended that people born in 1970 or after get two doses of the vaccine.

People born before 1970 are generally assumed to have acquired immunity to measles or mumps from natural infection, however, there may be susceptible individuals in this age group.

If you're not sure if you're immunized, check your vaccine history and talk to your pharmacist about getting vaccinated.

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 more than 3,000 pharmacists and more than 850 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 Steeves, Manager, Communications, elise.steeves@bcpharmacy.ca, 604-269-2866

RELATED LINKS
http://www.bcpharmacy.ca

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