Health Notes

When Should You Get Your Vaccines?

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on August 17, 2017

Vaccines are one of medicine’s greatest tools to prevent dangerous and potentially deadly disease. Thanks to immunizations that are now commonplace, some diseases that were once devastating are becoming rare in our country.

Vaccination may void a number of deadly diseases in people of all ages – from infants all the way to older adults – that were once common:

Chickenpox (Varicella) Meningococcal
Diphtheria Mumps
Flu (Influenza) Pneumococcal
Hepatitis A Polio (Poliomyelitis)
Hepatitis B Rotavirus
Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) Rubella (German Measles)
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Measles Tetanus (Lockjaw)
Whooping Cough (Pertussis )

While most vaccines are administered in childhood, protection from some of them can wear off over time. Adults may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable disease due to age, job, travel or health.

To ensure the health and safety of the public, each year the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviews and approves the recommended immunization schedules for children and adolescents under the age of 18. That schedule, as well as the catch-up immunization schedule, is also approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Their careful review as well as advances in vaccines often mean changes to what vaccines you need and when.

Dr. Rudolf Kotula, Methodist Physicians Clinic infectious disease/travel health
Rudolf Kotula, MD

What vaccines do you need?

It’s important to remember that vaccines are SAFE. Vaccines must go through years of careful testing and be approved by the FDA prior to administration. And while all medications have some side effects, typically vaccine-related problems tend to be mild.

How much do you know about vaccines? Take the CDC’s childhood vaccines quiz.

Immunizations are there to protect not only your health, but the health of those around you – family members, neighbors, classmates, and other members of your communities – including those who may not be able to get vaccinated themselves due to underlying health concerns.

If you have questions about vaccines, talk with your Methodist Physicians Clinic primary care provider. They are there to provide all the facts you need to make educated decisions when it comes to protecting your good health.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. To learn more about how Nebraska is working to educate the public and providers about vaccines, visit

Dr. Rudolf Kotula is an infectious disease and travel medicine specialist now
seeing patients at Methodist Physicians Clinic Regency.
Contact Dr. Kotula at
Dr. Rudolf Kotula, Methodist Physicians Clinic infectious disease/travel health


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