Vaccines are for adults, too

Health officials in New York state are taking more steps to control measles outbreaks there.

Some communities have new rules to isolate those exposed to the virus, and to make sure kids are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

With all this talk about vaccines, many adults may be wondering if they need to get caught up as well.

Even if they got all their shots as kids, there are some recommended for adults.

Alex Joyce's mom didn't believe in vaccines when he was growing up.

"She was into alternative medicine. So she chose not to vaccinate me when I was a child," says Alex.

As an adult, Alex is making his own decisions when it came to healthcare.

"When I was about 35 and we were expecting our first child, my wife and I decided that it would be a good idea to go through and get all of my vaccinations that I would've had as a child," he notes.

Even if you're not like Alex and you were vaccinated as a child, doctors still recommend several vaccines for adults, such as an annual flu shot, a Tdap vaccine if you haven't already received it, and a TD Booster every ten years to protect against tetanus and diphtheria.

Then there's a shingles vaccine at age 50 and at 65, one for pneumonia.

Another vaccine some adults are considering protects against HPV, or human papillomavirus, which can cause cancer in some women and men.

"For a lot of adults today, the HPV vaccine wasn't even available when you were a teenager," says Lauren Friedman, Consumer Reports Health Editor.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the HPV vaccine for women through age 26 and men through age 21, however the F-D-A has approved the vaccine for adults up to age of 45.

Worried about that "icky feeling" you might get after a vaccine?

Consumer Reports says a shot might cause some mild side effects like a sore arm or even a slight fever.

But if you do get sick after being vaccinated, it's likely a coincidence.

Alex says his whole family stays on schedule.

"Now as an adult I do get my flu shot regularly and I also make sure our son is up to date on all of his vaccines,"Alex says.

If you plan to get the shingles vaccine, you may have to wait.

There's been a shortage of the new, more effective two-dose vaccine called Shingrix.

It was approved in 2017.

The CDC says it is getting reports of more and stronger side effects for some people, but the agency says the benefits outweigh the risk of getting shingles.
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