Immunizations are a public health concern because un-immunized people can spread diseases to their loved ones, neighbors, and co-workers. Vaccines are especially important for seniors, because their bodies are often frailer and more susceptible to complications of various diseases.
Here at Regency Nursing, we take vaccines very seriously for our residents and staff. If you visit loved ones at a Regency facility often, we request you stay up to date on your vaccines. The last thing you want to do is infect your elderly loved one or her roommate.
In honor of National Immunization Awareness Month, today we’re going to talk about a booster shot every single adult should get every 10 years.
The Tdap Vaccine and Td Booster
The Tdap vaccine immunizes you against three diseases; tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
- Tetanus, also called lockjaw, is an infection that causes severe muscle spasms. Symptoms usually start in the jaw and spread to the rest of the body. The illness can last a month, and it can take many more months to fully recover. The disease is fatal in about 10 percent of cases.
The bacteria that cause tetanus are commonly found in soil, saliva, dust, and manure. People can contract tetanus through a cut or puncture wound by a contaminated object. After getting any kind of puncture wound, you should immediately get a tetanus shot if you are not up-to-date. Being immunized is the best way to prevent tetanus.
- Diphtheria is a highly contagious infection of the mucus membranes in the throat and nose. Untreated diphtheria can cause severe damage to the kidneys, nervous system, and heart.
Diphtheria is common in undeveloped countries, and rare in the United States. However, anyone who isn’t up to date on immunization is at risk of contracting the disease from someone else.
- Pertussis is also known as whooping cough. It’s a respiratory disease that can cause serious illness in people of all ages, although it is most fatal for babies. Seniors are also at higher risk of complications from pertussis.
The Tdap vaccine is usually given to children. The CDC recommends that if you did not receive the immunization as a child, you should get the Tdap as early as possible.
In addition, all adults should get a Td booster—a formula that boosts your immunity to tetanus and diphtheria—every 10 years.
If you have not gotten the booster in the last 10 years, speak with your doctor about getting it today.