A: Yes, vaccines are very safe and can prevent serious, even fatal illnesses. Some parents mistakenly believe there is a link between disorders like autism and getting their children vaccinated, despite overwhelming scientific evidence pointing to the benefits of vaccinations in the fight against the spread of deadly childhood diseases. Appropriate vaccines are strongly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Like any medicine, vaccines can cause side effects. But they are usually minor and temporary. Serious reactions can also happen, but they’re extremely rare and are carefully monitored and investigated. You are more likely to get sick by a vaccine-preventable disease than by a vaccine.
And remember, vaccines are not just for children - adults need them, too. The CDC recommends that throughout your adult life you need immunizations for protection against:
- Seasonal influenza (flu): for all adults
- Tetanus, pertussis and diptheria: for all adults who have not previously received the Tdap vaccine
- Shingles: for adults 60 years and older
- Pneumococcal diseases: for adults 65 years and older and adults with specific health conditions
- Hepatitis B: for adults who have diabetes or are at risk for hepatitis B
Talk with your doctor to make sure you get the vaccines that are right for you and your family. Find us at southnassau.org.
Dr. Aaron E. Glatt is chairman of the Department of Medicine and division chief of infectious diseases at South Nassau Communities Hospital. Dr. Glatt is board-certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases, and his prestigious career in medicine has spanned from CEO and executive vice president at major hospital systems to professor of clinical medicine and former associate dean at New York Medical College. He has authored over 200 national and international scientific journal articles and presentations; served on the editorial boards of major publications; and he serves as a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
South Nassau Communities Hospital is located in Oceanside, N.Y., and provides comprehensive and easily accessible health care services to residents of the South Shore communities.