The world of adult vaccinations can seem like a confusing mess, but it gets pretty easy if you focus on two issues. First, what infection are you most likely to get? Flu and pneumonia are very common infections and far outstrip other illnesses that can be vaccinated against. Second, what infection is most likely to injure or kill you? Again, the answer is Flu and pneumonia.
The Flu has a storied past. In 1918, the Spanish Flu pandemic infected 500 million worldwide and killed 1 out of 5 people. The economic and emotional impact of this pandemic cannot be underestimated. Even today, few people learn about this pandemic, yet if there had been a world war that killed 1 in 5 people, it would be on the lips of every second-grade student.
Vaccination for the flu virus changed everything. The Flu pandemics no longer raged across the nation. Individual immunity to the virus increased and more importantly, herd immunity was established. Herd immunity happens when healthy people get the flu vaccination and sicker folks in the population are protected because the virus doesn’t reach them.
Currently, the CDC recommends that healthy people get flu shots every year and two pneumonia shots after the age of 65. Please talk to your healthcare provider to see what is recommended for you.
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