And so it comes: the cold weather. Along with it comes boots, sweaters and sickness. Often associated with colder weather and winter is sickness. And with the quick change of weather into fall, I am already seeing the affects of the ‘sick season.’ Blame the cold weather or runny noses, it seems like it is a rite of passage of winter to have a cold or the flu.
But along with sickness comes technology. Vaccinations have come a long way in the last few decades. And just a little prick can save you some serious aches and pains. A great news- most vaccines are covered by even the cheapest health insurance. Think vaccinations are just for babies? Saddle up and put up your sleeve, adults. Here are a few vaccinations that you should be getting.
The flu shot. The yearly shot used to be in high demand due to the panic of H1N1 (AKA the swine flu) a few years back, but on every corner advertisements blare promises of an in-stock flu. But that is a good thing. The one thing that can ruin your holidays would be a bad case of the flu. So, if you are older than 6 months old you are eligible for the flu. And it is highly recommended for children and seniors who are at the highest risk of getting more sick with the flu. And don’t worry if you are pregnant. The flu shot will protect you AND your baby. And no, getting the flu shot will not give you the flu. The virus is inactive so it cannot reproduce in your body and make you sick.
Human Papillomavirus or HPV. This vaccination is for men and women up to age 26. It protects against one of the most commonly spread sexually transmitted infections. But even if you are older than 26, and especially if you are not in a monogamous relationship, this vaccine might be of benefit to you.
TDAP (tetanus, diptheria and pertussis in one). This one time shot is for all adults, even if they have already had a tetanus shot. The main thing this shot protects us against is the whooping cough. While this seems like an “old timers” disease, it still affects young babies even today. Often passed from an adult to a child, getting the disease can mean hospitalization. Not a parent but spend time with a baby? You should get vaccinated too. Even if you think you are over whopping cough, it can take up to ten weeks (yes, weeks) to get out of your system. Yikes.
Hepatitis B. Often related to the spreading of AIDS, Hepatitis B can actually be spread through a variety of ways, most commonly child birth and sharing needles. If you are sexually active and not in a monogamous relationship, you need to get vaccinated. The scariest thing about the disease is that you can have it without knowing it, which ups the chances of spreading. Anyone who works around or uses needles should get vaccinated as a precaution.