Immunizations are a common topic when referring to children but as adults vaccinations may be just as vital to good health. There are several factors to consider about adult vaccinations but it is important to be up-to-date with the immunizations especially where risk factors are concerned for infectious diseases.
There are typically four factors that influence what vaccinations are necessary for adults. The medical community use a ‘HALO’ chart to recommend the proper vaccinations for adults. HALO stands for:
- Health Condition
Depending on one’s particular answers to the HALO determination scale, some adults may need more vaccinations throughout their adult life than others. For instance, those that travel abroad for work or vacation may need additional immunizations before their trip. Others who may work in a more hazardous work environment such as emergency medicine may also need to be vaccinated more routinely for health and safety reasons.
There are some vaccinations all adults should have. These immunizations include Td booster every 10 years. Adults can also get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B and influenza. The other factors included in HALO will help determine which adult patient will need which additional vaccinations.
Those with existing health conditions and weakened immune systems would likely need to be vaccinated against a number of diseases. Those of an advanced age may also need the same types of vaccinations due to their reduced immunity. Some lifestyle factors including intravenous drug users and adults not involved in a monogamous relationship should also consider vaccinations for a number of viruses and disease.
Being up-to-date as an adult with your vaccinations is important. If you are unsure about when the last vaccination you had occurred, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your family doctor and review the risks associated with not being vaccinated. While some immunizations such as the flu shot are elective, your HALO may require additional shots for the protected health.