Flu Specialist

Central Florida Family Practice

Board Certified Family Practice located in Saint Cloud, FL

Kids aren’t the only people who need vaccinations. Adults, especially older adults, benefit from vaccines that protect them against common conditions that can be serious, including the flu, pneumonia, and shingles. At Central Florida Family Practice, Dr. Elba Masid provides these vaccines as well as treatments for the conditions, should you contract them. To find out more about how you can prevent the flu, shingles, and pneumonia, call the office in Saint Cloud, Florida, or book an appointment using the online tool.

Flu, Pneumonia, Shingles Q & A

What is shingles?

Shingles is caused by a virus -- the same one that causes chickenpox. You recognize it as a painful rash that often appears as welts of blisters that wrap around the sides of your torso. You’re at greater risk of developing shingles if you’re older than 50, have certain diseases such as HIV or cancer, are undergoing cancer treatment, or take specific medications.

Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can develop shingles. The condition is not life-threatening, but is very painful.

What is the vaccine for shingles?

The varicella vaccine that protects children from chickenpox may be given to adults who’ve never had chickenpox to protect them from both chickenpox and shingles. Two options are available for the shingles vaccine: ZostavaxⓇ and ShingrixⓇ.

Zostavax protects you from shingles for about five years and is given as a single injection. Shingrix may offer protection from shingles for more than five years. This vaccine is given in two doses, two to six months apart.

Who should get a pneumococcal vaccine?

Pneumonia, which is a severe infection in the lungs, puts thousands of Americans in the hospital every year, and it can lead to death. Two vaccines for pneumonia are available: PCV13 and PPSV23. Older adults are at particular risk of complications from pneumonia and benefit from receiving these vaccines.

At Central Florida Family Practice, adults 65 and older should get PCV13 first and a dose of PPSV23 no later than one year later, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you received a dose of PPSV23, you should get the dose of PCV13 at least one year later. If you received a dose of PCV13 at a younger age, Dr. Masid does not recommend another dose.

Why should I get the flu vaccine?

The flu causes miserable symptoms and can lead to hospitalization and even death in vulnerable populations. Flu vaccines reduce your risk of contracting the disease and lessen the severity of symptoms should you contract it.

The flu vaccine is reformulated every year because the viral strains that cause the flu change quickly. When you get a seasonal flu vaccine, it protects you against the flu viruses that researchers have determined will be most common that season.

You may get the flu as a shot or as a nasal spray. Both are effective in protecting you from the flu and are offered at Central Florida Family Practice. If you have flu symptoms and come in to see us quickly, we can offer antiviral medication to help you fight the flu.

To protect yourself against flu, shingles, and pneumonia, contact Central Florida Family Practice by phone or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.