Immunizations are not only important for children; they are necessary for adults as well, especially as you age. If you have not received certain vaccinations through adulthood, now may be a good time to talk to your healthcare provider about immunizations.
Adolescence is a great time to protect yourself from future infections, which can develop into serious conditions later in life. Sofia recommends the HPV (human papilomavirus) vaccination for children ages 11 and 12 years as well as teens and young adults up to 26 years of age who have not received the vaccine. Since 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that teenage girls receive an HPV vaccine, although only about one-third of eligible teens have been vaccinated. While it is safe, many still have questions about HPV and its vaccination. One of the vaccinations, Gardasil, is a series of three shots over the course of six months. It protects against the types of HPV that cause most types of cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancer. While HPV vaccinations do not prevent infections from all types of HPV, it is important to be vaccinated early in adolescence so that if you come into contact with the virus, you have a decreased risk for infections.
Most people have received the Hepatitis B vaccination as a baby, but if you have not been vaccinated yet, you should ask your healthcare provider for the immunization. Hepatitis B is a serious infection of the liver that can be avoided with this safe vaccine.
Flu vaccinations must be given each year (usually in fall) in order to be effective. While some other vaccinations protect you from a disease for life, the flu vaccination changes each year to keep up with new versions of the virus. Children, pregnant women, and the elderly are more likely to face complications, such as dehydration, from the flu.