Adults Need Vaccinations Too

(August 26, 2014)

Learn more, breathe betterAugust is National Immunization Awareness Month. Many adults think they no longer need immunizations—as a result, a significant number of adults are not current on vaccinations that can protect their health and prevent serious illnesses. That’s why the American Lung Association is working with Pfizer to help dispel the myth that vaccines are just for children.

The risk of contracting potentially life threatening respiratory infections, such as influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia, increases as you get older. Adult 65 years and older with chronic lung diseases such as asthma and COPD are also at greater risk, as are adults who smoke.

These serious illnesses are potentially preventable with vaccines.

What is Pneumococcal Pneumonia?
Pneumonia, including pneumococcal pneumonia, is a serious lung disease that kills thousands every year and hospitalizes many more. It is often spread via coughing or sneezing, and those who don’t exhibit symptoms can also spread the virus or bacteria. Risk of death among those who contract pneumococcal pneumonia is greatest among infants and adults 65 years and older. Common symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia include fever, chills, productive (mucus) cough that persists or gets worse, difficulty in breathing and chest pain.

What is Influenza?
Influenza or flu is a serious respiratory illness that impacts people of all ages. It is a highly contagious virus that is usually spread through coughing or sneezing. Symptoms can impact the entire body and may include sudden onset of high fever, headache, muscle aches, a dry cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion.

Ask Your Primary Care Provider:
Vaccines are recommended to help prevent certain diseases.

Maintaining good hygiene—including regular hand washing—is also important in helping to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia, influenza, and other infectious illnesses.

The American Lung Association and Pfizer are working together to achieve the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Healthy People 2020 goal to increase immunization. We encourage anyone with questions to speak with their health care provider.