Vaccinations are the best action to take to protect ourselves from infectious diseases. The World Health Organization states vaccinations prevent between 3.5 million and 5 million deaths worldwide annually. If you don’t get vaccines you need, your health, the health of people you interact with and global health can be impacted, so it’s important to stay up to date on your immunizations.

Vaccines Adults Need

Adults need to keep up with their vaccinations because their immunity levels from vaccines they received as children can decrease. As an adult, you can be at risk for several different diseases. By getting vaccinated, you can take a convenient and safe step to keep yourself healthy.

All adults should get several routine vaccinations, including:

  • Influenza (flu) vaccine: Flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can infect the nose, throat and lungs. The CDC recommends everyone who is at least 6 months old receive a flu shot annually.
  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine: Diphtheria and pertussis are contagious illnesses. You can get tetanus if you get a cut or wound. Anyone who is at least 7 years old can get the Tdap vaccine.
  • COVID-19 vaccines: If you have yet to receive your COVID-19 vaccines, getting vaccinated is the best way to help protect against severe illness and hospitalization. Being up to date on your COVID-19 vaccination reduces a person’s risk of dying from the virus by more than 90 percent.

You may need additional vaccines if you have certain health conditions, are traveling, work in certain occupations, experience certain life events or reach a certain age. The CDC has an updated list of these additional vaccines.

Vaccines Children Need for School

As the school year approaches, it is crucial that parents or guardians check to see if their school-aged children are up to date on their vaccinations. There has been a trend of parents and guardians putting off their children’s immunizations since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccines are a safe way to prevent deadly diseases and save children’s lives. Parents and guardians keeping their kids on track with their vaccines will help prevent the spread of diseases.

According to Beech Tree News, Kentucky has been lagging behind bordering states and is below the national average in school-aged children keeping up to date on vaccinations. If your child is behind on their vaccines, catch-up schedules can be arranged with a provider to ensure your child can receive all the required vaccines depending on their age. All children must receive their required vaccines because they cannot attend school until they do so unless they qualify for a specific exemption.

To learn more about what vaccines your child needs to receive before the school year, the CDC has a tool where you can see recommended and required vaccines by state. The Team Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services also has a list of recommended vaccines for each age group.

Make an appointment with your child’s primary care provider today so your child can get any required vaccines they need. Children can typically receive vaccines during their school or sports physicals.

Bottom Line: Vaccines are Essential

Our health is vital. When you get vaccinated, you not only strengthen your own immune system, but also protect your family, neighbors and the most vulnerable members of the community.

For more information, make an appointment with a UofL Physicians – Primary Care provider by calling 502-588-4343. You can also get vaccinated at several of our UofL Health – Pharmacy locations. For additional information about vaccines you can go to Immunizations |

As always, UofL Health – Pharmacy is here to help. UofL Health has the following outpatient pharmacy locations for your medication and pharmacy needs and questions:

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Kelly Leal, CPhT.

Kelly Leal, CPhT., is a certified pharmacy technician with UofL Health – Pharmacy. She works in the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic as well as in the Specialty Pharmacy. She has been a certified pharmacy technician for almost 10 years with a background in retail and specialty pharmacy. She has been with UofL Health since June 2023.

All posts by Kelly Leal, CPhT.
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