UNLV School of Medicine Dean Marc J. Kahn on vaccinations.
UNLV School of Medicine Dean Marc J. Kahn on vaccinations.

Now that we are beginning to better understand COVID-19, it is really important that we address our routine health care needs that may have been ignored during the pandemic.

Specifically, we need to think about health maintenance. This includes being up to date on vaccinations, especially for children. It is especially important that children get the recommended vaccinations, regardless of whether they are going back into the classroom.  

And for adults, there are several indicated vaccinations. For those over 50, the herpes Zoster or shingles vaccine is indicated and a pneumonia vaccine is also indicated for some middle-aged adults and people with underlying medical conditions. We advise visiting with your primary care provider to get vaccinated for those conditions that are appropriate for your age and health. 

It is also important for all of us to address our general health needs. There are screenings that may need to be done as part of preventive health care. For women, screening mammography or pap smears are part of staying healthy. For men, screening prostate cancer may be indicated.  For both men and women who are over age 50, screening for colon cancer becomes important to prevent disease.  Again, talking to your doctor about all of the preventive medical services that are indicated as part of your care. 

Lastly, we all need to make sure that we are taking all of our prescribed medications. With COVID-19, it may have been easy to run out of medications. Now is a good time to take stock of your supply to ensure you are well prepared.

We also want to keep track of our weight, make sure we are eating healthy and getting enough sleep.  During the pandemic, it’s been easy to ignore even the most basic healthcare needs as the world focused on COVID-19.  Today, we should remember that preventive medicine is the best medicine.

Photo: Courtesy of UNLV School of Medicine; Dr. Mark J. Kahn, Dean, UNLV School of Medicine

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