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Don’t Wait To Vaccinate

Johns Creek Family Medicine Recommends That You Don't Wait to Vaccinate. Flu Shots are Available Now.

Johns Creek Family Medicine Recommends That You Don’t Wait to Vaccinate. Flu Shots are Available Now.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Are you aware that the need for immunization doesn’t end in childhood? Although many vaccine-preventable diseases have virtually become non-existant as a response to years of immunizations, individual cases and often group outbreaks still occur. Therefore, the CDC recommends vaccines throughout life to protect against serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. Catching an illness at any age that can be prevented by a vaccine can lead to serious consequences. Aside from being ill and potentially contagious, a preventable illness incurs medical expenses, missed work and/or school, and even missed social opportunities. For high risk individuals, other complications may develop, and in some cases death may even occur. Dr. Charkawi at Johns Creek Family Medicine reminds us that immunizations are important for the whole family to prevent illness and stay healthy. In short, get vaccinated.

What Vaccinations Do Children Need?

The CDC has established recommended vaccination schedule for children, and each state also requires particular vaccinations by certain ages for children in the school system. As adults, we are responsible for making sure that children of all ages receive all their vaccinations at the correct time.  It not only safeguards the long-term health of the child, it also protects friends, caregivers, classmates, and other members of the community a child may interact with.

There are 14 diseases that can be serious, even life-threatening that infants and young children must be vaccinated against. All children 6 months and older should get flu vaccines – the nasal inhalant type is popular for younger children.  As children enter kindergarten and 6th grade additional doses of particular vaccines are required, usually chicken pox, measles/mumps vaccines, and a booster dose of Tdap (whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria) and polio.

Are There Special Vaccines Recommended for Young Adults?

Preteens and teens need vaccines, too! As kids get older, they are still at risk for certain diseases, especially when they move into dormitory type environments. Assuming all other vaccinations required in childhood are up to date, before heading back to school or college, three vaccines are recommend in addition to an annual flu vaccine: HPV, Tdap, and meningococcal conjugate vaccine—for continued protection.

What Vaccines Do Adults Need?

There are certain vaccines that are recommended for all adults. The vaccines we received in our school years may not provide adequate protection as we age. For example, whatever the reason, some adults did not receive vaccinations when they were young. Newer and more effective strains of vaccines may now have been invented than the versions available to the baby boom generation, which may lead to immunity diminishing over time. Depending on other factors, including: age; lifestyle; health conditions; potential for international travel; type of job; previous vaccination history; an adult may require additional types of vaccinations. Also, as a person ages, their immune system may weaken and become more susceptible to common infections like flu and pneumonia. Recommended vaccinations include:

  1. Annual Influenza vaccine
  2. Whooping Cough, Tetanus, diphtheria (Tdap) vaccine: If not given as a youth, adults should have this vaccine once. Pregnant women should receive this vaccine every pregnancy between 27 to 36 weeks.
  3. Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.
  4. Shingles vaccine at age 60, particularly if you had chicken pox as a child.
  5. Pneumonia vaccine (PPSV) at age 65. This shot also protects from infection of the blood and infections of the covering around the brain and spinal cord. It may be recommended at an earlier age for high risk individuals.

Getting every recommended dose of each vaccine provides everyone in our community with the best protection possible. Talk to Dr. Charkawi to find out which vaccines are right for you, and make an appointment to visit Johns Creek Family Medicine in Johns Creek, serving the North Fulton, South Forsyth, Gwinnett County and Atlanta metro communities. Remember the slogan, “Don’t Wait – Vaccinate”. Flu vaccines are available now in our office.


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