Vaccines are generally safe and effective in preventing disease. A vaccine uses a small amount of dead or weak virus or bacteria or artificially made proteins that imitate the virus, producing immunity to a specific disease. Although immunity is achievable when a person is exposed naturally to a virus, there is the risk of severe illness and potentially even death. You should always consult your physician to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for you. Guidelines change, and your NYC medical care doctor will customize the recommendation to your specific case to keep you in good health.
How Do Vaccines Work and Who Should Receive Them?
When you are vaccinated, we inject you with a weakened form of a disease that triggers your body’s immune response, so it either produces antibodies to that disease, or it starts other processes that help to enhance your immunity. Afterward, if the actual disease affects you, your immune system is more prepared to fight the infection.
We give some vaccines only once, while others require booster shots occasionally to continue protection against disease.
Usually, vaccination will prevent disease or will reduce its severity. It is much safer and more cost-effective to prevent disease than to treat it.
Over the year’s vaccines have prevented epidemics of infectious diseases that were once common, including:
- Whooping cough
Vaccines have helped almost to eradicate some diseases such as smallpox and polio. Proof of immunization is often a prerequisite for certain workplaces and other environments.
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Vaccines and Immunization for Adults
Adults need vaccines too, and your need for vaccines depends on your age, overall health, the vaccines you received during your early life, and your lifestyle.
Some of the recommended vaccines for adults include:
- Seasonal influenza
- Pertussis or whooping cough
- Tetanus and diphtheria
- Vaccine against pneumococcal disease
- Other Vaccines (depending on your age and risk factors, guidelines often change, so you should check with your primary care doctor)
Other vaccines available include TwinRix for hepatitis a and B and vaccines against chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella, and HPV.
Influenza is potentially severe, and every flu season is different. Millions of people get the flu each year, and some require a hospital stay. The seasonal flu vaccine causes antibodies to develop approximately two weeks after vaccination and protects against infection with the viruses in the vaccine.
Our top-rated New York primary care doctors, who are some of the best physicians in NYC, can discuss your vaccination needs and schedule with you.
Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccination
If you have never received Tdap, talk to our primary care doctor about immunization. We recommend undergoing the Tdap vaccination every ten years. Guidelines change, and your doctor will customize the recommendation to your specific case to keep you in good health.
Shingle is a painful condition that can cause a rash over the face or torso. Typically, the rash consists of blisters that scab over in a week to 10 days, clearing up entirely within 2 to 4 weeks. The pain caused by the rash can be an intense burning sensation. Some people find the pain lasts for months or even years after, and this is one of the most common complications of shingles—the risk of getting shingles increases with age. We recommend the two vaccines for preventing shingles, and the most commonly used is called Shingrix.
Pneumococcal disease or pneumonia is a severe condition, especially for older adults. There are two types of vaccines that can help to prevent this disease. It’s a recommended vaccination for children aged younger than two and for adults age 65 or older. Sometimes a vaccination is also recommended for other adults with certain medical conditions or for adults who smoke.
Hepatitis A and B Vaccine
Hepatitis A and hepatitis B combination vaccines prevent infection caused by the hepatitis A and hepatitis B virus. The vaccine works by causing your body to produce its protection (antibodies) against the disease.
TwinRix can prevent hepatitis A and B and is a vaccine available for adults. It’s administered intramuscularly as an injection, and the standard dosing schedule is three vaccine doses over six months. After you receive the first dose, we will give you the second dose one month after. The final dose is given six months after the first dose.
HPV Vaccine (Human papillomavirus)
Human papillomavirus vaccines are vaccines that prevent infection by certain types of human papillomavirus. Available vaccines protect against either two, four, or nine types of HPV. All vaccines protect against at least HPV types 16 and 18, which cause the most significant cancer risk. Please discuss if this may be appropriate for you with your primary care doctor.
Immunization and Vaccination for Patients in NYC
Please make an appointment at our convenient locations in Midtown Manhattan or Upper East Side with our primary care physicians. Our general practitioners and internist doctors look forward to meeting you!
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