Vaccination syringe

Why vaccines are so important, especially for adults

Immunizations are important for everyone from newborns up through seniors. Why? They help prevent you from not only getting sick but potentially spreading an illness to others. Moreover, contracting a preventable disease can lead to more serious health conditions, missed work, hospital bills, and more.

“Vaccinations in general are beneficial and are effective in preventing serious illness, hospital stays, and even death,” says Joseph Parise, DO, Bayhealth Primary Care, Dover. While there are many vaccinations available to the community, there are four Dr. Parise recommends to older adults.

Shingles

Adults 50 and older
Two doses, once in a lifetime


It’s important to get this vaccine because the disease can be painful and can lead to long-term problems. If you had chicken pox as a child, you’re susceptible to having the disease later in life because the virus remains in your body.

Influenza 

Everyone 6 months and older
One dose, annually in the fall

This vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. The influenza virus changes each year, which is why it’s an annual vaccine. Influenza is a debilitating virus with significant symptoms like fever, chills, myalgia, and headache. It can be particularly serious for seniors and children as it can lead to pneumonia, hospitalization, and even death.

Pneumococcal 

Adults 65 and older
Two doses, one year apart


This vaccine is important because pneumococcal is the most common cause of pneumonia in the senior population and can be life-threatening. The first dose protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal while the second protects against 23 strains.

TDAP

Any age if not administered as a child, after age 6
Initial shot is followed by boosters every 10 years


TDAP is important because it protects against three diseases — tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. Dr. Parise notes whooping cough has been a problem in Kent County and encourages adults who spend time with children to get vaccinated.

Vaccination schedules can differ for community members suffering from chronic disease. Dr. Parise recommends consulting your physician with questions about what immunizations would be beneficial to you.

Find the right Bayhealth doctor to give you the support you need. Visit Bayhealth's Find a Doctor page or call 1-866-BAY-DOCS.