If you look back through history you will find that medicine and science are always changing. This is something that we should all be thankful for! As more scientific research is conducted and more amazing developments emerge it only makes sense that new recommendations regarding our health and well-being will come to light. These scientific advancements also apply to vaccine recommendations. Just last week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released the new/updated 2014 vaccine recommendations.
I have no doubt that the possibility of a changing vaccine schedule is viewed unfavorably by some. Many anti-vaccine advocates point to this natural scientific progression based on research and development critically; even citing that doctors and scientists simply do not have all the facts and are unable to provide enough information to ensure vaccine safety. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, scientists, doctors, and health officials are dedicated to understanding, monitoring and preventing diseases and it is this commitment to saving lives that allows us to all be as safe and healthy as possible through the use of vaccines. New and innovative scientific approaches to medicine are constantly evolving
Seems like a lot to understand right? Well, I’m going to leave clarifications for the Childhood Immunization Schedule to the professionals. The best way to make sure your child is up-to-date is to check with his/her doctor.
So what’s new for adults? Per the CDCs footnotes:
- Influenza vaccine: There are several flu vaccines available—talk to your healthcare professional about which flu vaccine is right for you.
- Td/Tdap vaccine: Pregnant women are recommended to get Tdap vaccine with each pregnancy in the third trimester to increase protection for infants who are too young for vaccination, but at highest risk for severe illness and death from pertussis (whooping cough). People who have not had Tdap vaccine since age 11 should get a dose of Tdap followed by Td booster doses every 10 years.
- Varicella, HPV, MMR, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B vaccine: These vaccines are needed for adults who didn’t get these vaccines when they were children.
- HPV vaccine: There are two HPV vaccines, but only one, HPV (Gardasil®), should be given to men. Gay men or men who have sex with men who are 22 through 26 years old should get HPV vaccine if they haven’t already started or completed the series.
- Zoster vaccine: You should get the zoster vaccine even if you’ve had shingles before.
- MMR vaccine: If you were born in 1957 or after, and don’t have a record of being vaccinated or having had measles, mumps or rubella, talk to your healthcare professional about how many doses you may need.
- Pneumococcal vaccine: There are two different types of pneumococcal vaccines: PCV13 and PPSV23. Talk with your healthcare professional to find out if one or both pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for
Confused? Don’t worry. Make an appointment with your primary care physician to make sure you and your family are up-to-date on all your vaccines. Vaccines are without a doubt one of the greatest public health success stories. Keep vaccinating to protect yourself and those you love.