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Immunization for your child

Getting your child immunized against preventable diseases helps set them up for a healthy life. At Optum, we believe the best approach is to follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, if you missed an immunization window, or are interested in an alternate schedule, we’ll work with you and your unique needs to make sure your child is fully protected.

HL: Non-Combination Vaccine Schedule 

ALT: While combination vaccines are proven to be safe and have similar side effects to individual vaccines, you can choose to opt for non-combination, using this modified schedule. Contact your child’s pediatrician if you have a question about combination vaccines.

Immunizations for seniors

Age, and the conditions we acquire in our lifetime have a great impact on our immune system. That’s why it’s important to keep up with regular immunizations and take advantage of immunizations that are especially recommended for aging patients.

If you have an ongoing health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, getting immunized is especially important. The guidelines below are identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as the best way to prevent serious illness.

All adults should receive:

  • Tetanus-diphtheria (Td) or tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) vaccines: If you didn’t receive a tetanus shot as an adolescent, it is important to get one right away. Td booster shots are recommended every 10 years. Senior adults aged 65 years or older who are healthcare workers or who have close contact with infants less than one year old (e.g., grandparents, childcare providers) should get a single dose of Tdap as soon as possible, regardless of how long ago they had a tetanus booster.
  • Seasonal flu vaccine: Also known as a flu shot, this vaccine changes from year to year to protect you against changes in the flu virus. Experts recommend you receive a flu shot every year to protect you from serious complications that can develop in people with influenza including bacteria pneumonia. When’s the best time to get it? It’s important to get the vaccination early in the fall. Flu season typically peaks between November and March, so it’s vital for you to get your shot before the holidays start. It’s important to note that it does take two weeks after getting the shot for your body to build up full immunity.

Adults age 50 and older should also receive:

  • Zoster vaccine: If you had chickenpox as a child, you face a higher risk of getting shingles, a painful skin rash that affects older adults. After a bout of chickenpox, the virus can live in nerve endings and be reactivated as shingles later in life. The zoster vaccine fights the virus that causes shingles. There are two shingles vaccines available for healthy older adults. The CDC recommends that adults over age 50 get a two-dose version of the vaccine. The shots are generally given two months apart, and are nearly 90 percent effective after you’ve had both shots. The single dose vaccine may still be used for healthy people over age 60.

Senior Adults age 65 and older should also receive:

  • Pneumococcal vaccine: Pneumococcal disease causes severe infections throughout the bloodstream and/or key organs. Conditions that result from this disease include pneumonia (infection of the lungs), meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), and bacteremia (infection of the bloodstream). This vaccine protects you against ear, brain and lung infections (pneumonia).

Other vaccines:

  • Hepatitis A and B vaccine: Some doctors also recommend that seniors with certain health problems get the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine, two infections that cause liver inflammation.

Medical care and help

While we work with general guidelines, we understand that vaccines aren’t a one-size-fit all solution. From preexisting conditions to lifestyle  and travel, your primary care providers will recommend the vaccines and timing that are best for you.