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Immunizations Important for Middle-Aged Women

Dorian Martin Nov 12th, 2012 (updated Nov 14th, 2014)
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Many women forget, or do not know, that many of the immunizations they received as children need to be renewed when  they approach middle age. Here are immunizations you should consider getting again, although you should talk to your doctor first. 

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Influenza (Flu) shot
Influenza (Flu) shot

You need to get this particular vaccination annually throughout your life.  Symptoms include a sudden high fever, chills, dry cough, headache, runny nose, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, and extreme fatigue that can last several weeks. This particular disease can be mild or severe and can lead to hospitalization and death.

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Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis
Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis

You need to receive a Td booster to protect against the following diseases every 10 years throughout your life.

Diphtheria is a contagious bacterial disease that attacks the respiratory system.

Tetanus is caused by bacteria in the soil that enters the body through a wound. 

Pertussis also is spread through respiratory droplets from the sneeze or cough of someone who is infected. 

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Measles, mumps and rubella
Measles, mumps and rubella

You need one to two doses before the age of 55 and then another one to two doses after the age of 55, depending on your health, job or lifestyle. Those who work in a post-secondary education institution, work in a healthcare facility, or plan to travel internationally should be revaccinated.

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Pneumococcal (pneumonia)
Pneumococcal (pneumonia)

You need one to two doses before the age of 65 and then another dose when you reach 65. Pneumonia attacks the lungs and can also lead to ear infections, sinus infections, meningitis, bacteremia and sepsis. This disease is spread through coughing or sneezing.

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Shingles
Shingles

You need one dose when you reach 60. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. After you have the chicken pox, the virus stays in the body in an inactive state, but can reactivate years later, causing shingles. About 33 percent of people in the U.S. will develop shingles; of these, half of the cases will be people 60 years of age or older.

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Chicken pox
Chicken pox

You need two doses of this vaccination during your lifetime. Chicken pox is very contagious and can be spread from a cough, sneeze or the blisters on the skin. Typical symptoms include an itchy rash with blisters, tiredness, headache and fever. Severe cases of chicken pox can lead to severe skin infections, pneumonia, swelling of the brain or even death.

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Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A

You need two doses during your lifetime. Hepatitis A is an infection in the liver that is spread primarily from person to person. The CDC reports that this virus is taken in by mouth from contact with objects, food or drinks that have been contaminated by the feces of an infected person.

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Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B

You need three doses during your lifetime. This disease is an infection of the liver and spreads through the exchange of blood or other body fluids. Hepatitis B causes flu-like symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, rashes, joint pain, vomiting and jaundice. The infection remains in the liver of some people for the remainder of their lives and may cause severe liver diseases, such as cancer.