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Health

Vaccinations for babies and baby boomers

When most people hear the words vaccine or immunization, they think about childhood vaccines, according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

But people never outgrow the need for immunizations.

Vaccines are thoroughly tested before licensing by the Food and Drug Administration and carefully monitored even after they are licensed to ensure that they are safe. Talk with your health care provider if you have concerns about vaccines and what vaccinations you need and when you need them.

Vaccines protect babies from 14 diseases by the time they reach two years of age. It is important that babies receive all doses of each vaccine and receive each vaccination on time. Vaccines are the safest and most cost-effective way to prevent several diseases and are required to attend school.

Adults should get flu vaccine each year and receive a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster vaccine or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) every 10 years. Tdap is also recommended for pregnant women during each pregnancy.

Adults 50 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. Adults 65 and older are also recommended to receive both pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations. A

Adults may need other vaccines (such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HPV) depending on their age, if pregnant, occupation, travel, medical conditions, vaccinations they have already received, or other considerations.

For more information about immunizations, including vaccination schedules for infants, children, teens and adults, visitwww.dph.illinois.gov

To test you knowledge about vaccinations, visit www2.cdc.gov/

Families who need help paying for childhood vaccines should ask their health care professional about the Vaccines for Children program, which provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children who do not otherwise have access to recommended childhood vaccines.

For information, call 217-785-1455 for the rest of the state.

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