Are you up to date on vaccines?

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — October signals the start of flu season in KELOLAND, and for many that means making a trip to get a flu shot.

But pharmacists say the flu vaccine isn’t the only vaccine that should be on people’s radar.

With cold weather also comes the message from doctors and pharmacists suggesting people get their annual flu vaccine. In addition to your flu shot, Lewis Drug pharmacist Courtney Feist says you’ll want to be up to date on other vaccines too.

“Whooping cough vaccines, which also cover against tetanus often. We have the shingles vaccine, and then two different pneumonia vaccines are often recommended to patients,” Feist said.

She says now is a good time to review your vaccine history, with each person’s needs varying.

“With those winter months coming up people are more likely to get sick. But it’s important to also remember that you can get a pneumonia anytime of the year, shingles can happen anytime of the year, flu season runs until spring often. So the sooner you can get protected the better,” Feist said.

Tony Coulter isn’t taking any chances when it comes to getting sick. After a recent doctors visit he’s feeling better protected heading into winter.

“I’m up on everything. I got all my shingles, flu, pneumonia,” Tony Coulter said.

Other than a needle poke he says he hasn’t noticed any negative side effects.

“I’ve never had, you know other than a lot of times you get the shot and it’s tender you know. But for the most part I’ve never had side effects,” Coulter said.

And if you’re not sure which vaccines you may need to get, a quick call to your doctor or pharmacist can help you determine what’s best for you.

Coulter credits his doctor for keeping him informed on what he needs and when. Feist says that’s important, as certain vaccines can vary in how often you need them and what age they’re needed.

“Our pneumonia vaccines are recommended for a variety of different age groups depending on your condition, so it is important to really talk to a pharmacist. But at age 65 those do become really important, along with age 50 for our shingles vaccine,” Feist said.

Adding that it’s a good idea to call your pharmacy to be sure the vaccine you need is available.

Feist also says that there is no waiting list at Lewis Drug for the first dose of the shingles vaccine at this time.

For a map of Lewis Drug pharmacy locations, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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