Today's Medicine

4 Reasons You Should Get Vaccinated

Published: July 17, 2023

When it comes to vaccines, which are recommended throughout our lives, it’s simply a matter of protecting your health. Specific recommendations are based on age, medical conditions, lifestyle, occupation, travel destinations and vaccines received in the past. 

For adults, vaccines are recommended to prevent serious diseases such as influenza (flu), pneumonia, COVID-19, shingles, whooping cough (pertussis), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), HPV infections and hepatitis.

Vaccine recommendations for adults often change based on the latest scientific information and input from the top medical organizations across the country. That’s why annual wellness visits with your Methodist Physicians Clinic health care provider are so critical.

The Importance of Vaccines

Every year, thousands of adults in the U.S. become needlessly ill from infectious diseases. Many adults are hospitalized, and some even die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. 

According to the recent statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Flu is responsible for up to 41 million illnesses and 35,000 deaths each year.
  • Up to 600,000 people get pneumococcal pneumonia every year, leading to as many as 150,000 hospitalizations and 6,000 deaths.
  • Up to 13% of people who get shingles will experience a painful complication called post herpetic neuralgia (PHN). This pain can last from weeks to years and can be extremely debilitating.
  • 2.2 million cases of RSV occur each year in people older than 65, resulting in about 17,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths.
  • As many as 2.2 million people suffer from chronic hepatitis B, with complications such as liver cancer and cirrhosis.
  • It’s estimated that 24 million cases of active HPV infection exists in the U.S. HPV causes about 45,000 new cancer cases annually. About 4,000 women die each year from cervical cancer, which is largely caused by HPV.

Immunizations are about more than just protecting yourself from infections and their complications. They’re also about protecting others. Unfortunately, according to the CDC, nearly one-third of U.S. adults don’t get the vaccinations they need.

Here are four good reasons you should get vaccinated:

  • You’ll stay healthy
    No one wants to get sick, so why risk it? There are more than a dozen diseases you can protect yourself against simply by getting vaccinated.
  • You can limit sick days away from work and family. 
    Getting sick could mean missing precious days earning a paycheck and providing for your family. You could also miss out on important family time. Vaccines can help you stay healthy so you're less likely to miss work or important moments/milestones due to illness.
  • You'll help keep your loved ones healthy.
    Most diseases preventable by vaccines are also highly contagious. If you become sick, that puts your loved ones at risk as well.
  • You'll have more peace of mind.
    Are you someone who waits to get vaccinated until you hear news of an outbreak? The time to get vaccinated is before disease arrives. Stay current on your immunizations because no one knows when the next outbreak will happen.

Talk to your primary care provider today to ensure you’re current on all your vaccinations.

More Resources

About the Author

Dr. Rudolf Kotula is a board-certified infectious disease physician. He specializes in areas such as antibiotic resistance, travel medicine and infection prevention.

You can visit Dr. Kotula at Methodist Physicians Clinic.

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