Vaccines help keep us healthy and can save lives.
In addition to the flu vaccine, ask your care team whether you need to get vaccinated against:
- Pneumococcal disease, which includes pneumonia, meningitis and bloodstream infections (pneumococcal vaccine)
- Tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (Tdap vaccine, a booster shot, is needed every 10 years); diphtheria, though rare in the United States, can damage the heart
- Shingles, also called herpes zoster, which is a reactivation of chicken pox in the body often later in life (zoster vaccine); studies have shown that people who had shingles are much more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, especially in the
first year after being diagnosed with shingles, than people who did not have shingles
You may also need additional vaccinations depending on your age. Be sure to write down what vaccines you get, including when and where you received them, and keep this information with your updated medication list.
Other Ways to Stay Healthy
Don’t forget other simple steps to help prevent the flu and other contagious illnesses:
- Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze
- Throw out used tissues
- Avoid rubbing your eyes, nose and mouth
- Wash your hands often using soap and warm water
- Avoid being around people who have the flu as much as possible