Immunizations Aren't Just For Babies

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Although our immune system grows stronger as we grow older, we might still be at risk of catching infectious diseases. There are factors that make us more susceptible to illness, such as aging, chronic illness, poor nutrition, unhealthy environment, or a genetic predisposition. Sometimes, our behaviors makes us more likely to get infected -- eating unclean food, leading a stressful lifestyle, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, travel, extreme sports, or not seeking medical care when ill.


To fight off infectious diseases. No one wants to get sick. It feels bad; it cuts productive time; you can't be close to people you might infect. Why risk suffering, disability, or even death?

To stop the spread of communicable diseases. Infectious disease jumps from one vulnerable person to another. Because you can't infect other people when you are disease-free, you break the cycle of transmission, and slow down what could be a raging epidemic. The technical term for this is herd immunity. If a high majority ( as much as 90 percent) of a population is vaccinated against a disease, then the disease can't go very far and everyone (even the unvaccinated ones) is protected.

To ensure health and safety at work. Health care workers are at high risk for getting a wide variety of serious infectious diseases every day, and must receive all the important vaccines. If your work involves close contact with people, you should get vaccinated. If you have a physically demanding job that carries some risk of injury, make sure your tetanus immunization is current. Advocate for inclusion of vaccinations in your employee benefit package.

To ensure health and safety at play. Look closely at your hobbies, interests, and sports. Tetanus vaccine is important if you engage in physically demanding adventure sports like climbing, camping, hiking, or scuba diving. Your immune status should also be solid if you do volunteer work for people who might be sick.

For extra insurance while traveling. If you travel overseas, it's important to check on the immunization requirements of the country you are visiting. The longer you plan to stay, the more important it is to decrease your risk of catching a communicable disease. As an overseas contract worker, ask your recruiter or prospective employer about vaccination requirements. Costs might even be included in your employment benefits. Get your shots at least a month before the trip to give your body time to build up immunity.

To protect your unborn child.
You can decrease the risk of miscarriage or birth defects by building up your immunity before you get pregnant. Vaccinations against hepatitis A, measles/mumps/rubella, chicken pox, pneumococcus, and polio can't be given during pregnancy because they might harm the fetus. Have the immunizations scheduled many months before a planned pregnancy. After immunization, make sure there is no possibility of pregnancy for several months. There are three vaccines that are relatively safe to receive even while pregnant: hepatitis B, influenza, and tetanus+diphtheria.

For your peace of mind. You know your body and lifestyle best. If you are at risk for certain preventable diseases, then get those vaccinations done.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 30, 2008 and is filed under . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the .


Post a Comment