What vaccinations do we need?

HARLINGEN — Keeping up with your shots can be a little confusing.

Those born between 1963 and 1971 were vaccinated against smallpox, DTP (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), polio and measles.

If we were born between 1971 and 1989, we were inoculated against DTP, polio, and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) but not smallpox.

The MMR vaccination wasn’t required for the previous generation. Mumps vaccinations didn’t become available until 1967, and the rubella vaccination came into use in 1969.

We were given these shots so long ago, probably many of us don’t remember which ones we received (except the smallpox — ouch) and we don’t have our records.

So how do we find out what we need?

Simple.

Go to your doctor’s office and have some blood drawn, said Penny Hodgins, director of Infection Prevention and Employee Health at Harlingen Medical Center.

For the rest of this story and many other EXTRAS, go to our premium site, www.MyValleyStar.com.

Subscribe to it for only $6.99 per month or purchase a print subscription and receive the online version free, which includes an electronic version of the full newspaper and extra photo galleries, links and other information you can’t find anywhere else.