(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) “You’re never too old for immunizations. It is not just children who need immunizations,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, president and CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates. “Especially as we get older, or when we travel to foreign countries, immunizations are a safe way to guard against diseases that could cause unnecessary pain and suffering.”
For the very youngest adults, those in the 18-26 age category, two immunizations are especially recommended, although both can be given in the preteen and earlier teen years.
The first of these is the meningitis vaccine, as this disease is especially contagious among people who live in close proximity, such as a college dormitory.
“If you are enrolling in college, and are planning to live in a dormitory, and you haven’t been vaccinated for meningitis, you should be vaccinated now,” said Dr. Cheryl Emoto, director of medical services for LaSalle Medical Associates.
Young adults up to age 26 should also receive a vaccine against the human papiolloma (HPV) virus, which is a sexually transmitted disease that infects the genitals, and can cause cancer in either sex, but is especially likely to cause cervical cancer in women. 2010 is the first year it has been available to males.
“The HPV virus is the main cause of cervical cancer in women,” Emoto explained. “It is important that a girl or young woman receive three doses, which are given over a six-month period, before her first sexual encounter in order for the vaccine to be fully effective. Young men can also benefit from this vaccination, especially if they receive it before becoming sexually active.”
Young and older adults may also need a tetanus booster, as it should be given every 10 years.
There are also vaccinations especially recommended for both middle-aged adults and senior adults.
Middle-aged adults, especially those who were less than five years old at any time between 1963 and 1968, should consider a measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccination. This is because a vaccine used during those years relied on a “killed” virus instead of a live virus, which was not as effective as the live virus vaccine used since 1969.
Measles/mumps/rubella vaccines are especially crucial for women of childbearing age, and anyone who attends college or trade school, works in health care or will soon travel internationally or on a cruise ship.
Adults born prior to 1957 usually do not need measles or mumps vaccines, as most of them contracted both mumps and measles before the first vaccine was developed in 1963. However, any in this age category who either work in health care, or who are pre-menopausal women, should consider the MMR vaccine if they have not yet received it.
But there are vaccines needed for older adults. The pneummococal (pneumonia) vaccine is recommended for all over age 65 and Zoster (shingles) vaccine is recommended for all over the age of 60. Adults over these ages are at greater risk of developing serious health problems if they contract these diseases.
People of any age who are traveling outside the United States may need vaccinations against diseases that are much more prevalent in other countries, such as hepatitis and meningitis.
About LaSalle Medical Associates
LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc., operates four clinics employing more than 120 dedicated healthcare professionals, treating children, adults, and seniors in San Bernardino County. LaSalle’s patients are primarily served by Medi-Cal and they also accept Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP). LaSalle’s clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 16455 Main St. in Hesperia and 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino.
LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc., is also an Independent Practice Association (IPA) of independently contracted doctors, hospitals and clinics, delivering high quality care to more than 245,000 patients in Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin and Tulare Counties.
LaSalle’s IPA members in the Inland Empire include: LaSalle Medical Associates, Arrowhead Orthopedics, Arther Medical Group, Rancho Medical Group, Rancho Paseo Medical Group, Alessandro Medical Group Banning Medical Group, and San Bernardino Urological Associates. Hospital affiliations include: Rancho Springs Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Community Hospital of San Bernardino, St. Bernadine Medical Center, Mountains Community Hospital, Redland Community Hospital, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Corona Regional Medical Center, Riverside County Medical Center, Parkview Community Hospital.