AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

818 immunization 300x228 Staying Up To Date On ImmunizationsMost of us get a series of vaccinations as children to protect us from dangerous diseases such as diphtheria and whooping cough. After we become adults, many do not give much more thought to vaccinations except, perhaps, the annual influenza vaccine. This is because not much is said about adult immunizations. Even physicians may forget to recommend them unless the patient mentions a pending trip abroad. Nevertheless, there are certain immunizations adults should get in order to maintain immunity.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP)

Adults should get a booster shot of the DTaP vaccination. The CDC recommends that adults get a tetanus shot every 10 years. Your physician may also recommend a tetanus booster if you have suffered an open-wound injury.

The DTap combination shot is also highly advised for anyone who has not yet received this immunization or who has not had a booster within 10 years. Immunity to all three of these serious illnesses wears off over time.

Diphtheria is a bacterial respiratory infection that can easily be transmitted from person to person. According to the Mayo Clinic , this disease has a 10 percent mortality rate, even when treated. The best solution is prevention through vaccinations.

Tetanus is a very serious bacterial infection. The bacteria are readily present in the environment and typically enter the body through a cut or puncture wound. It can cause severe muscle stiffness, jerkiness, breathing difficulty, fever, and accelerated heart rate. Tetanus can be fatal.

Pertussis is more commonly known as whooping cough. The highly contagious diseases can cause severe, persistent coughing fits and can be fatal. Outbreaks of pertussis have occurred in the United States within the past few years.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)

All adults who were born after 1957  may need MMR booster shots. This is strongly recommended for anyone who attends college, works in health care, lives in an area of mumps or measles outbreak, has been exposed to measles, or plans to travel abroad.


Measles is a viral disease that causes respiratory problems, fever, and a distinctive rash. The rash usually covers nearly the entire body. Complications caused by this disease include pneumonia, ear infections, and encephalitis. Measles still kills many throughout the world each year, mostly in developing countries.


Like measles, mumps can also lead to serious complications such as encephalitis. Mumps symptoms include fever, fatigue, and swollen salivary glands.


Rubella is also called German measles. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women as this virus can cause serious birth defects. It is very contagious, and symptoms include fever and a rash.

Pneumoccocal Vaccination

The pneumoccocal vaccination protects against serious complications, such as brain damage, from pneumoccocal pneumonia. Those who are vaccinated may still acquire the illness if exposed to it, but the symptoms are not as severe.

The CDC recommends this vaccination for anyone with chronic illnesses like diabetes, anyone with a decreased immunity to infection, as well as asthmatics, smokers, and residents of care facilities.

We live in a time where we can prevent many of the diseases that once killed our ancestors by the hundreds of thousands. It is easy to become overly confident and assume we do not need vaccinations as adults, but many should take advantage of available immunizations. Your physician can tell you if a particular vaccination is right for you at this time.

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About the author: Jenny Holt found great information on immunizations at


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