When I was 32 I got married, had braces put on my teeth, acquired my first pair of reading glasses, and erupted in pimples the size of which I’d not seen on any adolescent.
I was something to look at.
The pimples turned out to be chickenpox. On hearing the news, my shiny new husband smirked, explaining he’d been infected as a child; as if I was somehow lame to get such a disease at my age.
The source of my infection turned out to be my sweet, sick young nephew.
The varicella vaccine was not yet routinely recommended for kids at that time, so I couldn’t blame anyone for not vaccinating the boy. I did try, though.
All this is to say that adults get sick, and sometimes their infections are preventable. It’s now recommended that adults get vaccinated against chickenpox if they have never been infected. And there are a host of other vaccines available to us, although if you are like me, you rarely think about getting immunized against anything other than influenza. We think about the kids, and we worry about our parents, but for ourselves, no.
It’s time to think about us. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) revamped their adult vaccination website and it’s worth a look. On the site you’ll find specifics about the vaccines you may need and details about the diseases those vaccines prevent.
Healthcare professionals weren’t forgotten. There’s a toolkit of ready-to-use resources and listings of more such items, should they be needed.
Bonus: much of the site’s information is presented in English and Spanish.
Take a few minutes this week to email or call your healthcare provider. Find out which vaccines you need and then go in, get vaccinated. Vaccines don’t work 100% of the time on 100% of those who are vaccinated. If we as adults get vaccinated, we will stop many of the incidents of parent-to-child infection. So, if you don’t want to take time for yourselves, take time to get vaccinated for your family.
Image courtesy of sheknows.com