More to immunizations than just a flu shot
October 31, 2012
This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.Many people assume that immunizations are only for children, and that once you are an adult, you can forget about having to receive additional vaccinations. However, thousands of adults become sick and many die as a result of illnesses that could have been prevented with proper vaccination.Carson City Health and Human Services wants to get the message out that immunizations are for adults, too, and that many of the recommended adult vaccinations are available every Thursday in our clinic on a walk-in basis.Many childhood vaccinations lose their effectiveness over time, and adults may not be aware that they need to receive a booster to maintain their own immunity and to protect others. This is especially true of the Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Whooping cough has been making a resurgence lately, and if you are around babies who are too young to receive the vaccine themselves, your vaccine may be all the protection they have.Other vaccines for adults are not boosters, but are recommended as people age and their immune systems become weaker. One vaccine that is recommended for adults is Zoster vaccine, which protects against shingles. Shingles is a disease that causes a painful, blistering rash. One in five people with shingles will have severe, long-term pain even after the rash heals. Almost all older adults are prone to shingles and about one in three people will develop the disease during their lifetime. People who had chicken pox are more at risk. Getting vaccinated can prevent or lessen the severity of this infection.One vaccine that is recommended for everyone, adults and children alike, is the seasonal flu vaccine. It’s not too late to get your flu shot. Our clinic offers both the shot and the nasal mist spray.If you aren’t sure which vaccinations are right for you, ask your health care provider or visit our clinic and speak to a nurse. For more information on adult vaccines, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines. To learn more about our clinic and other health department services, check us out on the web at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or “like” our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/cchhs. Carson City Healthand Human Services900 E. Long St.,Carson City.Call 775-887-2195.Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday; call for appointment.Well-child visits: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays.Men’s clinic: 4-6 p.m. Mondays.Immunization Day: 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays.Douglas CountyCommunity Health1538 Highway 395 North (Corner of Spruce Street and Cemetery Lane).Call 775-782-9038.Clinic hours: 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.Monday is Immunization Day: No appointment needed, 1-4:30 p.m.