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You have the power to protect yourself against serious diseases like shingles, pneumonia, and flu.
Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses to help safely develop protection from diseases. Vaccines are tested before licensing and carefully monitored afterwards to ensure their safety. Like all medical products, vaccines can cause side effects. The most common side effects are mild and go away quickly.
Every year, thousands of adults in the United States become seriously ill and are hospitalized because of diseases that vaccines can help prevent. Many adults even die from these diseases. By getting vaccinated, you can help protect yourself and your family from serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.
Use CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be recommended for your age, health conditions, job, or lifestyle. It is especially important for patients with certain health conditions to be up to date on recommended vaccinations, since they are at increased risk for complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Talk to your doctor or nurse about whether you have missed any vaccines.
For more info visit the CDC's Vaccine page.
NIAM 2022 Resources
Vaccinations are proven to be safe and effective, and they save lives. Vaccines are important not only for school-aged children, but for babies and young children, pregnant women, teens and pre-teens, and adults. There is proof that childhood vaccines do not cause autism. In fact, the benefits of vaccines outweigh their side effects. Side effects generally include slight pain and tenderness at the site of the injection. The pain can be treated with over-the-counter pain medicine and a cold compress. Vaccines are required for many activities. Not having the appropriate vaccine can interfere with your plans.
Talk to your doctor about any health conditions you currently have and the impact of the vaccine on that condition. This may include telling your doctor if you are sick with a cold or flu.
Questions to ask your doctor:
- Can I delay a vaccine?
- Can I get a disease after I’ve gotten the vaccine?
- How do I know if I had certain vaccines as a child if I don’t have the records?
A vaccine (or immunization) is a way to build your body’s natural immunity to a disease before you get sick. This keeps you from getting and spreading the disease. For some vaccines, a weakened form of the disease germ is injected into your body. This is usually done with a shot in the leg or arm. Your body detects the invading germs (antigens) and produces antibodies to fight them. Those antibodies then stay in your body for a long time. In many cases, they stay for the rest of your life. If you’re ever exposed to the disease again, your body will fight it off without you ever getting the disease.
Some illnesses, like strains of cold viruses, are mild. But some, like COVID-19, smallpox, or polio, can cause life-altering changes. They can even result in death. That’s why preventing your body from contracting these illnesses is very important.
How does immunity work?
Your body builds a defense system to fight foreign germs that could make you sick or hurt you. It’s called your immune system. To build up your immune system, your body must be exposed to different germs. When your body is exposed to a germ for the first time, it produces antibodies to fight it. But that takes time, and you usually get sick before the antibodies have built up. But once you have antibodies, they stay in your body. So, the next time you’re exposed to that germ, the antibodies will attack it, and you won’t get sick.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends timely vaccination of pediatric and adult patients. Vaccines are a standard of good medical care and practice.
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination
- Children: 2-dose series at 12–15 months, and 4–6 years
- Dose 2 may be administered as early as 4 weeks after dose 1.
- Adults born in 1957 or later should receive at least 1 dose of MMR vaccine unless they have other acceptable evidence of immunity to these three diseases.
- Adults born before 1957 can be considered to have immunity to measles, rubella (except for women who could become pregnant), and mumps.
- Adults who might be at increased risk for exposure or transmission of measles, rubella, or mumps and who do not have evidence of immunity should receive special consideration for vaccination. Students attending colleges or other post-high school educational institutions, health-care personnel, and international travelers should receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine.
- Unvaccinated children and adolescents: 2 doses at least 4 weeks apart
- All persons aged 6 months or older: One dose annually (note that the first time one receives flu vaccine and under age 8, two doses are administered)