In 1952, over 60,000 children contracted polio, more than 3,000 died, and thousands more ended up paralyzed. The polio vaccine was introduced in 1955, and by 1979, the disease had been eliminated across the country, saving the lives of thousands of children. It still exists in other parts of the world, so we still vaccinate against it today.
Today, our team here at American River Urgent Care in Orangevale, California, provides vaccines to keep your whole family safe. Most immunizations are given to children, so you might think you're still safe as an adult. However, many vaccines require boosters at various intervals to maintain your immunity.
Let's review what vaccines you and your family should have at different ages.
Your child needs a series of vaccines to build their immunity to dangerous diseases. Many vaccines require several doses to protect your child completely.
Within your child's first year, they should have:
- Hepatitis B
- DTaP - diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
Between 12-23 months, your child should have:
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- MMR measles, mumps, rubella
- Hepatitis A
- DTaP boosters
Between the ages of 4-6, your little one needs to complete most of their vaccinations with final boosters for DTap, polio, MMR, and varicella.
If you follow the recommended vaccination schedule, your child shouldn't need any more vaccines until 11-12. At this point, they need boosters for DTap as well as the meningococcal conjugate vaccine. You should also consider starting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations at this point.
Vaccines for adults
Adults should have DTap boosters every ten years. If you're under the age of 26, this is your last chance to get the HPV vaccine. You can also talk to your provider about boosters for MMR and varicella.
After the age of 50, you should get the Zoster virus vaccine to protect you from shingles. You might also need a pneumococcal polysaccharide immunization.
We're lucky that many dangerous illnesses have been eradicated here in the United States. While it's unlikely that many people will be traveling any time soon, if you're planning on heading overseas, make an appointment well in advance of your trip to talk about travel vaccines. You might need several doses of vaccines and time for your body to develop the antibodies needed to keep you safe.
Depending on where you're going, you might need vaccinations for yellow fever, typhoid, meningococcal disease, or encephalitis. Some countries might require you to take anti-malaria drugs.
Don't forget your annual flu shot
Everyone over the age of 6 months should have a flu vaccine every year. The flu virus mutates rapidly, which means that the shot you had last year won't protect you from the prevalent virus strain this year. Flu season starts in the autumn, and you and your family should get your flu shots as early in the season as possible.
If you have questions about vaccines or think that you or a family member might be due for an immunization or booster, give us a call, book online, or come into our office for expert care.