You might be missing out on some immune-system superpowers that are yours for the asking at your local GP. Besides protecting yourself — who wants chicken pox and tetanus? — staying up-to-date on shots helps to keep dangerous germs out of circulation and away from others.
Some of the shots that you may need, even as a healthy adult, are ones that protect against:
- Tetanus, an infection you can get from infected wounds. You may have had a tetanus shot before, but the immunity wears off over time. Get a booster every 10 years, or if you get a deep wound and aren't sure if your last booster is still good.
- Pertussis, or whooping cough. Most healthy adults who get pertussis just experience a bad cough that eventually goes away. But you can pass it to children or other vulnerable people, where it can be life-threatening.
- Chickenpox, which can be more serious in adults than in children. If you didn't get either the disease or the vaccine as a kid, get it now. (If you're over 60, you'll want the shingles vaccine instead, whether you've had chickenpox or not.)
Even if you don't know whether you had these vaccines in the past, it's usually safe to get another dose; ask your doctor if you have any concerns. Read more at the link below for other vaccines you may be missing.
Vaccines That Boost Your Immunity [Consumer Reports]