Saturday, July 15, 2006

Many of you may know that I am a bit of a wimp in my enthusiasm for medical procedures. I finally got my colonoscopy, but it's been 25 years since my last tetanus shot. After all, in my many years of medical practice, I've never seen a case of tetanus or diphtheria, and frankly shots creep me out.

Time to reconsider the strategy, however, now that Adacel is available. This vaccine not only protects against the theoretical case of tetanus and diphtheria, it also is "arming more people against pertussis."

I do see a hack of illnesses each year involving a show-stopping mega-cough. Many of these seasonal upper respiratory infections have been proven in population studies to be whooping cough (pertussis). Furthermore, studies indicate that the series of shots that we received against this illness--which can cause months of coughing--does not confer lifelong immunity.

The shot is recommended for teens and adults 11 through 64 years of age, particularly health care personnel and parents of small children. Thankfully no small children here, but I share a small exam room each winter with a grip of grippe.

Catchy slogan, nice ad campaign (smiling folks baring arms with bandaids on them), good shot. I'm getting mine this week!

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