August is National Immunization Awareness Month

In the United States every year thousands of adults get sick, some are hospitalized, and some even die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. People who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or asthma are at a greater risk for severe problems from various vaccine-preventable diseases.

Please note that you should always consult with your doctor to determine what is best for you and your treatment. We are not a doctor’s office and are not providing medical advice.

An essential step to getting and staying healthy is to get vaccinated and here are 3 important reasons why.

  1. You may be at risk of severe diseases that are still common in North American.

    Even if you got all your vaccines as a child, the protection from some vaccines could wear off over time. You may also be at risk for other diseases due to your age, career, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions.

  2. You can’t afford to risk getting sick.

    Even people who are healthy can get sick enough to miss work or school. If you’re sick, you may not be able to take care of your family or other daily responsibilities.

  3. You can protect your health and the health of those around you by getting the recommended vaccines.

    Vaccines lower your chance of getting sick.
    Vaccines assist your body’s natural defense to lower the chances of getting certain diseases as well as suffering complications from these diseases. Infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or respiratory conditions (like those with Asthma or COPD) are especially vulnerable to diseases that are vaccine-preventable.

    Vaccines lower your chance of spreading certain diseases.
    There are many things you want to pass on to your loved ones; a vaccine-preventable disease is not one of them. Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect your health.

Educate yourself with our Free Oxygen Therapy Guide

Here is a list from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of common disease and the vaccines that help prevent them as well as how the conditions can affect you. The top 4 vaccines are a minimum recommendation for people with lung-related diseases. Contact your doctors office to discuss what vaccines are right for you and your health.[1]

Diseases and the Vaccines that Help Prevent Them
How the Disease Can Affect You
Influenza "Flu"
Seasonal flu vaccine
Fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, muscle or body aches, and fatigue (very tired), and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. Disease Complications: Pneumonia (infection in the lungs), worsening of chronic health conditions, hospitalization, possibly resulting in disability or even death.

Pneumococcal Disease
Pneumococcal vaccine
Fever, chills, difficulty breathing, chest pain, stiff neck, earache, increased sensitivity to light, and cough. Disease Complications: Infections of the lung, middle ear, or sinuses, heart problems, brain damage, loss of hearing, loss of arms or legs, or even death.

Whooping Cough
Tdap vaccine
Prolonged cold symptoms (a cough and runny nose) leading to violent coughing or choking making it hard to breathe, drink, or eat. Disease Complications: Rib fractures, pneumonia, or even death.

Td/Tdap vaccine
Serious, painful spasms and stiffness of all muscles, lockjaw (difficulty opening mouth), difficulty swallowing or breathing, muscle spasms, and fever. Disease Complications: Broken bones, breathing difficulty, or even death.

Shingles Zoster
Painful rash on one side of the face or body, which blisters and then typically scabs, headache, fever, chills, and upset stomach. Disease Complications: Severe pain that can last for months or years after the rash goes away, pneumonia, loss of eyesight and hearing, or even death.

Hepatitis A
Hep A vaccine
Fever, tiredness, stomach pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), and dark urine; however, there may be no symptoms. Disease Complications: Liver failure; arthralgia (joint pain); and kidney, pancreatic, and blood disorders.

Hepatitis B
Hep B vaccine
Flu-like illness with loss of appetite, fever, tiredness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, and joint pain; however, there may be no symptoms. Disease Complications: Chronic liver infection, liver failure, and liver cancer.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV vaccine
Frequently, there are no symptoms for years until cancer appears. Disease Complications: Cervical cancer in women, anal cancer, and genital warts in both women and men.

Fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. Disease Complications: Ear infection, pneumonia, swelling in the brain due to infection, or even death.

For more information about immunizations, talk to your doctor or primary care provider.

Page last updated: October 1, 2018

[1] Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Last updated: September 4, 2018.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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