One of the best ways to maintain your good health is by making sure you are up-to-date on your immunizations. Vaccines not only effectively stop the spread of contagious diseases, but also enable you to avoid potentially life-threatening illnesses.
While the human body’s immune system is designed to help prevent illness by producing antibodies that fight off specific diseases, you are not naturally immune to many contagious viruses that can cause serious illness – such as influenza. That is why immunizations and vaccinations are an important health precaution at any age.
A vaccination trains your body to develop immunity to a specific virus or bacterium without causing an actual illness. It contains a small, weaker strain of the disease (or a synthetic version of the disease), and when the vaccine enters your system, it enables your body to naturally create the antibodies needed to resist that specific disease. While some vaccines, such as a flu shot, must be repeated to be effective, there are others that provide lifelong immunity – the new chickenpox vaccine, for example.
While vaccinations are a necessity for small children, they are just as important for adults of all ages – and the fastest, simplest way to stay on top of your immunizations is by visiting an urgent care center. Let’s talk about some of the vaccines that are readily available and recommended for adults, and where you can go in North Richland Hills to get vaccinated quickly and effectively.
What Vaccines Are Available for Adults?
You can go to an urgent care center today to get one or more of the following vaccines:
- Influenza (flu) – This common viral infection attacks the lungs, nose, and throat, and it can be deadly among high-risk groups. A flu vaccine is provided annually for all patients, including adults and seniors. Everyone is recommended to have a flu shot starting at age six months and annually thereafter throughout your lifetime.
- Hepatitis A – This highly contagious liver infection can be transmitted through contaminated food and water (e.g., raw shellfish, or food prepared by an infected food handler). It causes fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and low-grade fever, but it can be prevented by vaccine.
- Hepatitis B – This serious liver disease is commonly spread through exposure to infected body fluids. A series of shots is recommended for anyone who was born before 1982 (when the vaccine was introduced) who has not received the immunization.
- Tetanus – Tetanus is a bacterial infection spread through a cut or puncture in the skin from a contaminated object. It causes painful muscle spasms, and it can be fatal if untreated. A tetanus booster is recommended every 10 years (or five years with tetanus-prone wounds).
- MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) – These viral diseases start on the face and spread to the rest of the body. If the virus infects the lungs, it can lead to pneumonia. This vaccination is recommended for adults born after 1956 who have not completed the two-dose series.
- Meningitis – This vaccine is recommended to prevent fatal bacterial meningitis – inflammation of the brain and spinal cord (which together comprise the central nervous system) – in healthy people.
- Varicella (chickenpox) – This highly contagious disease causes a blister-like rash, itching, fatigue, and fever. A child can get this vaccine at age 12 months or older, but anyone who has never had chickenpox can also receive this vaccine. Adults who have had chickenpox should get the shingles vaccine.
Immunizations and Vaccinations in North Richland Hills, TX
Vaccinations are a form of preventive medicine, which is important in protecting the health of children and adults alike. This is why EMC Express Care in North Richland Hills, Texas, offers a comprehensive array of immunizations to our urgent care and walk-in patients.
Your EMC Express Care doctor may recommend and administer appropriate vaccinations for you based on your medical history, travel plans, or other factors. For more information about the immunizations and vaccinations we offer at EMC Express Care, drop by our North Richland Hills walk-in clinic any day between 10 am and 8 pm, or call us at (817) 503-8800. No appointment is necessary. We look forward to seeing you!