The influenza vaccine, more commonly called the flu shot, is one that everyone should get every year. The flu shot doesn’t just protect the person getting the shot. Immunization protects spreading the infection to those with weaker immune systems, such as children and elderly adults. Getting this vaccine reduces a person’s risk of getting the flu by 40-60%. In just one year, the flu vaccine can prevent an estimated 6.2 million cases of illness.
Although the pneumococcal disease is more common in children, the disease is more dangerous in adults. The pneumococcal vaccine is typically done in childhood. However, women should make sure immunizations are up to date. If this immunization was not given in childhood, adult women might need the shot.
The Tdap vaccine is a combination shot to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, also called whooping cough. The immunization is part of the standard immunizations for children. Td is a booster vaccine that provides continued protection against tetanus and diphtheria. The Tdap vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 19 who has never had the immunization. The Td booster is given once every 10 years.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Fortunately, vaccination can help protect people against this STD. The vaccine is given as a series of 3 shots and can be administered to anyone between the ages of 9-45. The shot protects against the two types of HPV that cause 80% of cases of cervical cancer.
The zoster vaccine live, or shingles vaccination is recommended for all adults over the age of 50. The shot is given in two doses, 2-6 months apart. The immunization helps to protect adults against shingles, whether the patient has had shingles before or not. The shot has been shown to protect for about 5 years.
6. Hepatitis A and B
This vaccine is a combination shot that contains both hepatitis A and B vaccines to prevent these two forms of hepatitis. The vaccine is given in 3 doses and is recommended for anyone 18 and over who is at risk of these infections. Hepatitis A is typically spread through the ingestion of contaminated food or water, and both hepatitis A and B can be spread through contact with body fluids of an infected person.
Get up to date on your vaccinations
Women should schedule an appointment with a family medicine provider to get up to date on vaccinations. These providers can help to answer questions and provide recommendations concerning immunizations.