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Get Your vaccinations

Often, we think of children getting vaccinated before they start school in the fall.  It’s important for seniors to get their vaccinations also.

You see, vaccinations are necessary for adults also, particularly to adults who have chronic health conditions.  You should know that if you or your loved one has diabetes, heart disease, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), certain vaccines can prevent very serious illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that such patients receive a vaccine every year to protect against seasonal flu.  Those who have COPD or asthma should receive pneumococcal vaccines to protect against pneumonia as well as a vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap). These diseases would quickly cause a person with COPD or asthma to become seriously ill, and even experience a long-term hospitalization.

In addition the zoster vaccine is recommended to protect against shingles, a common virus among people who have had chicken pox at an earlier age.  The CDC recommends this for everyone over 60 years of age.

Shots for Adults with Chronic Health Conditions

Patients with diabetes have a weaker immune system making them vulnerable to infections from diseases such as pneumonia and hepatitis B.  The CDC reports that patients with diabetes have higher rates of hepatitis B than the rest of the population. Outbreaks of hepatitis B associated with blood glucose monitoring procedures have happened among people with diabetes. The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for those who have diabetes.

Having heart disease can make you more vulnerable to certain diseases or make it more likely that complications will develop when you do catch them. Again, these patients should have an annual flu vaccine, the pneumonia and whooping cough vaccines and a zoster vaccine.

Always check with your doctor to know which vaccines are suitable for you and your health conditions. Ask about the side-effects you can expect from a vaccine. You can also check what vaccines you need by taking the Adult Vaccine Quiz presented by the CDC.

Public health department clinics are one location to get low-cost vaccines. Vaccines are available at many pharmacies at low prices.  You may also get vaccines at your workplace, senior centers, university health clinics, and community health fairs. Insurance will usually pay for vaccines.  Plan to get vaccinated this fall.


To find a place near you to get a vaccine, go to HealthMap Vaccine Map.

Do you have diabetes? Then, then see if there’s KEEP Healthy Kidney Disease screening going on near you.  See our blog on  the KEEP Healthy Program.

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