Immunization keeps your adult children and grandchildren healthy—a goal of every parent and grandparent.
Boomers who grew up in the 1950s remember the fear of polio.
In summer, mothers kept children out of swimming pools, summer camps were closed and everyone stayed home, away from crowds—all to quell the spread of the polio virus.
Jonas Salk’s vaccine provided immunization, took away fear and children could be kids again.
Immunization still save lives and is safe and effective. Every vaccine undergoes long and careful analysis by scientists, physicians and healthcare professionals. Pain or redness at the injection site cannot be compared to the severity of the diseases that vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, like severe allergic reactions, are very rare.
Immunizations protect the people you love and care about. Immunization keeps your adult children and grandchildren healthy, protecting them and also vulnerable people like babies under 6 months who cannot be immunized and people with immune systems weakened by conditions like leukemia. This herd immunity stops the chain of infection of contagious diseases. When parents stopped vaccinating their children, this caused a resurgence of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) in the past few years.
- Immunizations can save your family time and money. Family members won’t miss work and school. Medical and hospital bills won’t stress your budget.
- Vaccinations also protect future generations. The smallpox vaccine eradicated the disease worldwide. Vaccinating populations against rubella (German measles) has dramatically reduced the risk that a pregnant woman will pass the disease to her fetus; birth defects from rubella are no longer seen in the United States.
Immunizations are important for children, but your young adult still needs protection from contagious diseases—just different ones. Entering college, moving to a different location for work increases the risk.
5. Young adults living in dormitories or crowded apartments are at higher risk for meningococcal disease, including meningitis. Infection with this organism is almost always serious and can become fatal quickly. Protect your young adult with a meningococcal conjugate vaccine quadrivalent; have them vaccinated before they leave home.
6. Because of the recent widespread outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough)mentioned above, young adults who have not received a dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine should be vaccinated before leaving for college or a new job. They should have already received the childhood 4-dose primary vaccination series. If they did not or they are unsure, the full series should be given.
7. A newer vaccine that protects against the viruses that cause cervical cancer, anal cancers, and genital warts is Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. It is licensed for use in both males and females, a complete series being 3 doses. The second dose is administered 1-2 months after the first dose, and the third dose is given 6 months after the first dose.
8. The CDC recommends seasonal influenza vaccine for all adults. Again herd immunity protects many in the community, especially the weak and vulnerable. Either the live-attenuated (inhaled) or the inactivated (injection) version of the vaccine is appropriate for most young adults. If the vaccine is given early in the season (September–October) adequate immune protection is likely to be maintained throughout the flu season.
9. Finally, if your young adult is traveling out of the country, make sure they visit the health department to receive all the immunizations necessary for safe travel. The Centers for Disease Control (United States) requires or strongly suggests timely vaccination before leaving the country.
Immunization keeps your adult children and grandchildren healthy and they won’t be bringing some contagious disease home to you!
Please read another opinion on vaccinations written by Dr. Claire McCarthy MD