Flu shot image A vaccine is a medication given to produce antibodies against a certain infection to prevent that infection from occurring. The vaccination program in the US has dramatically reduced the prevalence of once-common diseases, including measles, mumps, and polio. Today, many vaccines are administered during childhood and adolescence, but some are necessary in adulthood. Many adults are not aware that they could still benefit from new vaccinations and “booster” doses of previously administered vaccinations.

Older adults are particularly susceptible to some of the infections that can be prevented by vaccination. In fact, complications from influenza (the flu) and pneumonia are a leading cause of death in older adults. Fortunately, getting the recommended vaccines can greatly reduce the risk of vaccine-preventable infections.

Another reason for getting recommended immunizations is to protect your family, friends, and others around you from becoming ill. Many vaccine-preventable infections can be spread from person to person, so getting vaccinated helps protect anyone who comes in contact with you from contracting these diseases.