What Vaccinations Are You Missing?

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Pregnant women should only receive a varicella vaccine after their pregnancy is over. People with weakened immune systems such as those with AIDS/HIV, cancer, those who have used steroids recently or received a recent blood transfusion should not obtain a varicella vaccine.

Herpes zoster vaccine is recommended for adults over the age of 60 even if they have had an episode of herpes zoster previously. Herpes zoster causes a painful, blistering rash due to re-exposure to the same virus that causes chicken pox. The rash frequently occurs on one side of the body and can cause pain and numbness that lasts for several weeks.

Some people develop post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) causing chronic pain due to permanent nerve irritation which affects their quality of life. People who are elderly and have weakened immune systems are most at risk.

Influenza vaccines are created and given annually based on which viral strains of flu are anticipated to occur that year. Approximately 1 out of 5 people get the flu each year and over 200,000 are hospitalized. The flu virus is spread by droplets in the air and symptoms are usually a high fever with chills, headache, cough, sore throat and muscle and joint pain.