(BPT) - Vaccines protect you from serious and sometimes deadly diseases. Yet most adults in the United States are not fully vaccinated. Like many, you may not even realize that there are vaccines recommended for adults based on age, health conditions, job and other factors.
Here are three reasons now is the time to get up-to-date on vaccinations:
1. There are disease outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world. Measles, which has been rare in the U.S. for years, is back. Between January and June, there were 539 cases of measles in the U.S. - the highest number in nearly 20 years. Measles has been imported from more than 19 countries around the world. There have also been outbreaks of whooping cough across the U.S., with cases reported in every state, and an epidemic level in California in June. Both of these are contagious diseases, so make sure you and your loved ones are protected.
2. Flu season will be here soon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine. Flu can be serious, even for healthy adults. Get the vaccine as soon as it's available and before flu starts circulating in your community. When you get your flu vaccine, ask your health care professional if you are up-to-date with other recommended vaccines as well.
3. It's back-to-school time. You may have children or grandchildren who are visiting their health care professionals to make sure their school-required vaccines are current. Some health care professionals, especially family practitioners, vaccinate children and adults so you might be able to take advantage of this visit and get your vaccines, too. Save time and make sure your whole family is vaccinated.
Like most adults, you have too much to do to spend time being sick. Getting vaccinated can reduce your risk for serious illnesses that can lead to missed days at work and time away from loved ones, not to mention medical bills. Don't wait, vaccinate.
The good news is that getting vaccinated is easier than you think. Adults can get vaccines at doctors' offices, pharmacies, workplaces, health clinics, and health departments. Visit vaccine.healthmap.org to find a vaccine provider near you. Most health insurance plans cover the cost of recommended vaccines - a call to your insurance provider can give you the details.
To learn more and take a quick quiz to find out what vaccines might be recommended for you, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults.