Adult Vaccinations May Save Your Life
While adults believe immunization is important, a recent national survey showed that most adults are not aware that they need vaccines throughout their lives to protect against diseases like shingles, pertussis, and hepatitis.
Adult Vaccinations You Need
- Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap): a booster is needed every 10 years. A pregnant woman who had a shot 10 or more years earlier should get a booster during the second or third trimester. Tdap should be given in place of Td for adults 19-64 years old who have never received Tdap in the past.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV): three-dose series given to females age 11-26 who haven’t already received the vaccination.
- Varicella (chickenpox): two-dose series given to adults with no evidence of immunity to the chickenpox virus. Pregnant women should not get this vaccine.
- Zoster (shingles): one-dose vaccine for adults 50 and older. Pregnant women should not get this vaccine.
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR): one or more doses given to adults with no evidence of immunity. Pregnant women should not get this vaccine.
- Influenza (flu): yearly vaccination given to adults 50 and older and any younger adults who would like to decrease their risk for infection. This is also recommended for younger adults with certain medical, occupational, and other indications including chronic heart or lung disease, diabetes, health care workers, or residents of nursing homes. The vaccine is available as a flu shot and nasal spray flu vaccine. The flu season can range from October to May, and the CDC recommends vaccination throughout the flu season.
- Pneumococcal: given to adults 65 and older and adults with certain medical, lifestyle, or other indications including cigarette smokers and residents of nursing homes. A one-time booster is given five years later.
- Hepatitis A: two-dose series given to adults with certain medical, occupational, lifestyle, or other indications including chronic liver disease, illegal drug use, and health care workers.
- Hepatitis B: three-dose series given to adults with certain medical, occupational, lifestyle, or other indications including chronic liver disease, sexually active adults who are not in a monogamous relationship, injection drug use, and health care workers.
- Meningococcal: one or more doses given to adults with certain medical or other indications; commonly given to college students living in dormitories or military recruits.
Information obtained from WebMD