older man getting vaccineVaccines are one of the most significant achievements in public health, playing a crucial role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. They are designed to stimulate the immune system to recognize and fight off specific pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. Vaccination not only protects individuals but also helps protect entire communities.

At our family medicine clinic in Caldwell, we offer vaccines to our existing patients as a part of their routine medical care and to new patients seeking an annual flu shot or COVID vaccine. You can trust our medical team to educate and advise you on what vaccines you should be getting based on your age, underlying health concerns, and risk level.

Vaccine Recommendations by Age

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a schedule of recommended vaccines for babies, adolescents, and adults. We inform our patients of these recommendations and help them stay on track with vaccine schedules.

Childhood Vaccines for Babies From Birth to 15 Months

Babies are vulnerable to disease and infection from the day they are born. The CDC recommends getting babies vaccinated for hepatitis B, rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP), flu, pneumococcal pneumonia, and polio in the first few months of life. Shots for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), chicken pox, hepatitis A, and COVID-19 are given between the ages of six and 15 months.

Child and Adolescent Boosters and New Vaccines

Between 18 months and five years, children should get boosters for hepatitis, DTaP, polio, MMR, chicken pox, flu, and COVID. At the age of 11 or 12, adolescents should also get the following vaccines:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV vaccines protect against various strains of the human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical, throat, and other cancers. They are recommended for both boys and girls.
  • Meningococcal. Meningococcal vaccines safeguard against meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that can lead to meningitis and sepsis, both of which can be fatal. This is an important shot for teens to get before moving into a college dorm.
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP). DTaP booster shots in adolescence help maintain immunity against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, as the effectiveness of childhood vaccines can wane over time.

Vaccines Adults Should Consider Getting Annually

Once upon a time, vaccines were seen as something only children got, but advancements in disease prevention mean that vaccines are now available to prevent respiratory and viral infections that can be life-threatening, particularly to older adults or people with compromised immune systems.

Most adults are advised to get the following vaccines:

  • Influenza (flu). Seasonal flu vaccines are recommended for all adults to reduce the risk of influenza, which can cause severe respiratory illness and complications, particularly in older adults.
  • Pneumococcal. Pneumococcal vaccines protect against infections caused by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria, which can lead to pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections.
  • Shingles. Shingles, caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, results in a painful rash. The shingles vaccine reduces the risk of developing this condition.
  • COVID-19. Several COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and recommended for adults to prevent infection, severe illness, and death caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Annual boosters targeting the latest strains of the virus are now available to adults.
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV vaccines are typically recommended for adults over the age of 60 and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. RSV can lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

In addition, many adults will need boosters of some of the childhood vaccines, including MMR, DTaP, chicken pox, hepatitis A and B, meningococcal, and HPV.

Make an Appointment for Your Vaccinations at Our Caldwell Family Practice Today

Vaccination is a crucial part of public health, protecting individuals and communities from a wide range of preventable diseases. Consult with our family medicine doctors to ensure you and your loved ones receive the appropriate vaccines based on age, medical history, and current recommendations. Staying up-to-date with vaccinations is an essential step in maintaining good health and preventing the spread of infectious illnesses.

No matter your wellness needs, Core Medicine of Idaho provides evidence-based, quality family care without the constraints imposed by hospital systems. Please fill out our online contact form or call 208-508-0345 to ask about our treatment options and make an appointment today.