HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Every year, thousands of adults get sick, some even sent to the hospital, from illnesses that vaccines can help prevent, like the flu and pneumonia.

However, doctors say by staying up to date with your vaccines, you’re keeping you and your community healthier.

Dr. Michael Grey, of St. Francis Hospital who also is the chairman for the Dept. of Health, suggests everyone get a flu shot every year.

That’s the only annual shot folks would need.

However, those over 50 years old should think about the shingles vaccine. For that one, patients get a first dose and then the second a few months later.

“It prevents you from getting the shingles. 85 to 90 percent patients who get the vaccine will be protected,” Grey said.

If it’s been 10 years, you may need a tetanus booster, or if you’re about to be around a new baby, your doctor may recommend TDAP: Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis.

That will also protect people from spreading whooping cough, which is dangerous for newborns.

Grey also recommends all of his patients over 65, arm themselves against pneumonia. You get the first shot, and then a year later you can get a second which offers protection from even more strains.

“Your protection when you get that two-step vaccination is excellent in the order of 90 – 95 percent for those particular pneumonias,” Grey said.

He adds that older folks and children are the most susceptible to these illnesses, which is why being protected can be critical.

“The risk of death and hospitalization goes up if you have not been vaccinated against it, but it’s a matter of playing the odds,” Grey said.

He also said you can get most of these vaccines at the same time, but sometimes it makes more sense to space them out.

A student off to college may also need to get some boosters to prepare for campus life.

It's always best to check with your doctor to see what's best for you.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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