TOP 10 REASONS TO GET VACCINATIONS
- Vaccine-preventable diseases have not gone away. The viruses and bacteria that cause illness and death still exist and can be passed on to those who are not protected by vaccines. While many diseases are not common in the US, global travel makes it easy for diseases to spread. Also, the dangerous “anti-vaxx” movement has contributed to a resurgence in diseases like measles and whooping cough.
- Vaccines will help keep you healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccinations throughout your life to protect against many infections. When you skip vaccines, you leave yourself vulnerable to illnesses such as shingles, pneumococcal disease, flu, and HPV and hepatitis B, both leading causes of cancer.
- Vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise. Like eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting regular check-ups, vaccines play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Vaccines are one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available.
- Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death. Vaccine-preventable infections can be deadly. Every year in the US, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 50,000 adults died from vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Vaccines are safe. The US has a robust approval process to ensure that all licensed vaccines are safe. Potential side effects associated with vaccines are uncommon and much less severe than the diseases they prevent.
- Vaccines will not cause the diseases they are designed to prevent. Vaccines contain either killed or weakened viruses, making it impossible to get the disease from the vaccine.
- Young and healthy people can get very sick, too. Infants and older adults are at increased risk for serious infections and complications, but vaccine-preventable diseases can strike anyone. If you are young and healthy, getting vaccinated can help you stay that way.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive. Diseases not only have a direct impact on individuals and their families, but also carry a high price tag for society, exceeding $10 billion per year. An average flu illness can last up to 15 days, typically with five or six missed work or school days. Adults who get hepatitis A lose an average of one month of work.
- When you get sick, your children, grandchildren, and parents may be at risk, too. Adults are the most common source of pertussis (whooping cough) infection in infants which can be deadly for babies. When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and your family as well as those in your community who may not be able to be vaccinated.
- Your family and co-workers need you. In the US each year, millions of adults get sick from vaccine-preventable diseases, causing them to miss work and leaving them unable to care for those who depend on them, including their children and/or aging parents.
Finding Vaccines in Your Area
Vaccines may be available at private doctor offices, pharmacies, workplaces, community health clinics, health departments or other community locations, such as schools and religious centers. If your primary healthcare provider does not stock all the vaccines recommended for you, ask for a referral.
Federally funded health centers can provide services if you don’t have health insurance or a regular source of health care – you pay what you can afford based on your income. Locate a federal health center near you: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/
You can also contact your state health department to learn more about where to get vaccines in your community: https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html
SOURCE: National Foundation for Infectious Disease