Chronic Diseases

Vaccines for Adults with Chronic Diseases

Chronic health conditions can increase your risk of serious complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases, including long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death. This is true, even if you feel healthy and your condition is under control. You can do a lot to manage your condition and getting vaccinated is an important step in staying healthy.

Children with certain medical conditions may also need additional vaccinations. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider to find out what vaccines your child may need.

Diabetes

According to the CDC,  if you have diabetes (type 1 or type 2), it may be harder for your immune system to fight off infections putting you at risk for more serious complications from an illness. Flu can raise your blood glucose to dangerously high levels, and you are at increased risk for death from pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis. In addition, people with diabetes have higher rates of hepatitis B than the rest of the population since the disease can be spread from the sharing of blood glucose meters, finger stick devices, or other diabetes care equipment.

The CDC recommends people with diabetes get:

  • Flu vaccine – A yearly flu vaccine to protect against flu and its complications.
  • Pneumococcal vaccines (PCV13 and PPSV23) –  Pneumococcal vaccines, once as an adult before 65 years of age and then two more doses at 65 years or older, to protect against pneumococcal disease.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine – Hepatitis B vaccine if you are unvaccinated and younger than 60 years of age to protect against hepatitis B. If you are 60 years or older, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Tdap vaccine/Td vaccine – A one-time dose of Tdap to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (also known as whooping cough). After that, adults need a Td booster shot to protect against tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years.
  • Shingles vaccine– Two doses of shingles vaccine if you are 50 years of age or older to protect against shingles and its complications.

Learn More:

Healthy Living with Diabetes: Getting the Vaccines You Need (CDC Handout to Download)

What You Need to Know About Diabetes and Adult Vaccines (CDC Fact Sheet)

Asthma, COPD and Other Lung Conditions

According to the CDC, if you have COPD or asthma, you are more likely to get complications from the flu. COPD and asthma cause your airways to swell and become blocked with mucus, which can make it hard to breathe. Certain vaccine-preventable diseases can also increase swelling of your airways and lungs. The combination of the two can lead to pneumonia and other serious respiratory illnesses.

The CDC recommends people with asthma, COPD, or other lung conditions get:

  • Flu vaccine – A yearly flu vaccine to protect against flu and its complications.
  • Pneumococcal vaccines (PCV13 and PPSV23) – Pneumooccocal vaccination to protect against pneumococcal disease.
  • Tdap vaccine/Td Vaccine – A one-time dose of Tdap  to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (also known as whooping cough). After that, adults need a Td booster shot every 10 years.
  • Shingles vaccine – Shingles vaccine if you are 50 years of age or older to protect against shingles and its complications.

Learn More: What You Need to Know About COPD, Asthma and Adult Vaccines (CDC Fact Sheet)

Heart Disease 
According to the CDC, if you have heart disease, it might be harder for you to fight off certain diseases or you may be more likely to have serious complications from certain diseases. If you have heart disease, or had a stroke, you have a higher risk of serious medical complications from the flu. In addition, getting the flu can also increase your risk of another heart attack or stroke.

The CDC recommends people with heart disease get:

  • Flu vaccine – A yearly flu vaccine to protect against flu and its complications. This is very important because the flu can increase the risk of another heart attack or stroke.
  • Pneumococcal vaccines (PCV13 and PPSV23) – Pneumococcal vaccination to protect against pneumococcal disease.
  • Tdap vaccine/Td vaccine – A one-time dose of Tdap  to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (also known as whooping cough). After that, adults need a Td booster shot every 10 years.
  • Shingles vaccine -Two doses of shingles vaccine if you are 50 years of age or older to protect against shingles and its complications.

Learn More: What You Need to Know About Heart Disease and Adult Vaccines (CDC Fact Sheet)

People with other health conditions, such as HIV and Sickle Cell Disease, may also need vaccines to help protect them from illness. In addition, there may be other vaccines recommended for you if you have diabetes, heart disease, asthma, COPD and/or lung conditions, so be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about what you need.

Also, please note that there have been hepatitis A outbreaks among adults in the U.S. over recent years. CDC reports that these cases have been occurring in people using drugs and/or people experiencing homelessness.

 
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