Immunizations are not just for kids!
Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated food and water (fecal – oral route). Periodic outbreaks occur in the United States, sometimes involving food handlers. Montana is among the states with a moderate amount of Hepatitis A cases. The vaccine is a two-dose series spaced 6 to 12 months apart and is recommended for travelers to foreign countries, people with chronic liver disease, people who have blood clotting disorders, or any person who wishes to be immune to Hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is spread through contact with blood, objects contaminated with blood, body fluids, and sexual contact. The vaccine is three doses, the first two are one month apart and the third dose is five months later. It is recommended for health care workers, first responders, coaches and teachers and day care workers who may have contact with blood, athletes who may have contact with blood through contact sports, janitors and housekeepers who may have contact with blood or the risk of accidental needle sticks, and adults who travel frequently or for long periods to foreign countries which have a high incidence of Hepatitis B.
Human papillomavirus (HPV): This vaccine protects against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV infection can cause cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva in women, cancers of the penis in men, and cancers of the anus and back of the throat in both men and women. The vaccine also prevents infection with HPV types that cause genital warts in men and women. If started after the age of 15 years-old, three doses of the vaccine given over six months are needed.
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella): Adults born after 1957 should have received two doses of MMR vaccine. They are required for college students and day care workers.
Pneumococcal Pneumonia: Pneumococcal vaccines prevent a deadly form of bacterial pneumonia which is the most common serious form of pneumococcal disease. Two different pneumococcal vaccines are recommended after the age of 65 years-old. One dose of PCV13 (Prevnar) and one dose of PPSV23 (Pnuemovax) spaced at least one year apart, are recommended for those over the age of 65 years-old. Also, people of any age may be recommended to receive a pneumococcal vaccine. Those individuals may be those who have chronic heart, lung, or endocrine disorders (such as diabetes), people who have illnesses or take medications that suppress the immune system (e.g. cortisone, prednisone, chemotherapy, etc.), people whose spleen has been removed, and people with serious kidney disease.
Seasonal Influenza (also known as the Flu): A yearly dose of Flu vaccine is recommended for anyone who is 6 months of age and older, including pregnant women. Medicare will be billed for people who have Medicare Part B.
Td (tetanus-diphtheria): All adults need a Td booster every ten years.
Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis): It was licensed in 2005. It is the first vaccine for adolescents and adults that protects against all three diseases. It is recommended that all adults ages 19 years and older who have not yet received a dose of Tdap receive a single dose. After receiving Tdap, people should receive Td every 10 years for routine booster immunization against Tetanus and Diphtheria. Pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccination during each pregnancy.
Varicella (Chickenpox): Adults who never had the disease should receive two doses of varicella vaccine at least one month apart.
Zoster (Shingles): Zoster is caused by reactivation of a latent varicella virus infection (from having chickenpox in the past). A one-time dose is recommended for ages 60 years or older.