If you are a parent, then you may understand that it is best to vaccinate your children. Vaccinations help to protect children from preventable diseases. As an adult, you may not realize that you also need vaccinations. Keep reading to learn about some of the most important ones you should be talking to your primary care physician about.


When you hear the word tetanus, then you might think of a rusty nail. However, rusty nails do not cause diseases, but the bacteria that live on them might. Specifically, the bacterium Clostridium tetani lives in the soil and can be easily transferred to dirty objects on the ground and even the bottom of your shoes or your cat's mouth. The bacteria release a toxin into the body that creates a serious infection. This toxin is the one that causes the muscles to contract and lock in place. 

While many people will receive a tetanus booster if they are cut by an object outdoors, it is wise to simply seek out the vaccination once it loses its effectiveness. The tetanus vaccine lasts approximately 10 years. 

When you get the vaccine as an adult, ask about the Tdap one instead. This immunization is one that contains the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccines. The pertussis or whooping cough vaccine is especially important if you have children. Whooping cough has made a comeback due to some parents skipping childhood vaccines for their children. By vaccinating yourself, you help to protect not only your own child, but others who may not have had the opportunity to receive the vaccination.


If you were born in the '70s, 80s, or early '90s, then you likely had chicken pox as a youngster. Your children are unlikely to contract the disease due to the creation of the chicken pox vaccination. If you had chicken pox, then the virus has remained dormant in the body, and it is still present to this day. While you cannot get chicken pox again, you can develop shingles. 

Shingles is caused by the dormant virus in your body. You do not catch it from someone else. While this is true, a wide variety of different things, like stress, can trigger the disease and cause the shingles outbreak. The older you get, the more likely that an outbreak can occur, and this can be devastating in terms of pain, scarring, and generally feeling over for weeks or months at a time. 

The shingles vaccine is similar to the chicken pox immunization and it can reduce your chances of developing the illness. It is not 100% effective, but even if you do get the illness, your symptoms are likely to be minimal.