Children and adults with Spina Bifida need to protect their immune systems with safe and effective vaccines, including COVID-19, Influenza (the flu), HPV, and Shingles. All vaccines have been scientifically tested and proven to protect people from life-threatening illnesses, helping them live longer, healthier lives.
If you are unsure of which vaccines you or your loved one needs, then talk with a healthcare provider and take the online Adult Vaccine Assessment Quiz.
Facts about the Flu (Influenza)
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. This vaccine is safe for people with Spina Bifida.
Hundreds of thousands of people die from the flu each year, but recent studies from the CDC show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60%.
Flu season in the U.S. is in the fall and winter, typically peaking between December and February. We recommend getting vaccinated in October to protect yourself from getting the flu.
The flu is an ever-changing virus. “Because flu viruses change so quickly, last year’s vaccine may not protect you from this year’s viruses. New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly changing flu viruses,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Facts about the Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is the most common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), infecting millions of adults every year.
There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems, including genital warts and cancers.
There is no cure for HPV, but there are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening. These vaccines are safe and effective for people with Spina Bifida.
The CDC recommends HPV vaccination for all preteens (including boys and girls) at age 11 or 12 years (or can start at age 9 years), and for everyone through age 26 years, if not vaccinated already.
Facts About Shingles
Shingles is a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body. The rash consists of blisters that typically scab over in 7 to 10 days and fully clears up within 2 to 4 weeks.
About 1 in every 3 people will develop Shingles in their lifetime. If you have had chickenpox, then you are at risk for shingles. This risk significantly increases as you get older.
There is no cure for Shingles, but there is a vaccine. This vaccine is safe for people with Spina Bifida.
The CDC recommends two doses of recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV, Shingrix) to prevent shingles and related complications in adults 50 years and older. Shingrix is also recommended for adults 19 years and older who have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy.
Additional Questions? Contact the National Resource Center
Our National Resource Center is always open and available for anyone in our Spina Bifida community.Contact the National Resource Center