Find out how to stay on top of the recommended vaccines for adultsMedically reviewed by Paria Sanaty Zadeh, PharmD
Vaccines protect you from getting and transmitting various infectious diseases or reduce the severity of the illness. The vaccines recommended for adults over age 19 vary from those for children. Some are given yearly, while others are recommended at specific ages. Side effects are generally mild if they occur.
This article discusses vaccines you need as an adult, when to get booster doses, and how to stay up to date with your needed vaccines.
Vaccines help keep you from getting sick and spreading viruses and bacteria to others. Getting a vaccine can mean you avoid extra medical costs and stay well so you can care for your family, maintain your daily schedule, and don't miss work.
Vaccines can be highly effective. Though they may not prevent 100% of cases, they can also reduce the severity of an illness and keep you out of the hospital.
Some vaccines are recommended for almost all adults, but various factors determine which vaccines a person should receive and when, including:
Every adult age 19 and older should stay up-to-date on vaccinations for COVID-19, influenza, and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis). Other vaccines depend on age and other factors.
Children are vaccinated with the DTaP vaccine (the abbreviation for the children's version) against these illnesses, and preteens (age 11 or 12) receive the Tdap vaccine.
Adults should receive a Tdap vaccine if they didn't receive a Tdap shot previously. Adults should receive a Tdap or Td booster every 10 years.
A pregnant person should receive Tdap early in their third trimester to protect the baby in its early months after birth.
Influenza vaccine is generally recommended once a year during flu season to protect against the strains predicted to be circulating. The protection fades over several months, another reason annual immunization is recommended.
Different formulations of the influenza vaccine injection (flu shot) include egg-free and preservative-free ones. Some are formulated to protect older adults better by triggering a stronger immune response.
The nasal spray option contains a live virus and is not recommended for certain people, including pregnant people, those with weakened immune systems, or those over age 49.
Adults should stay up-to-date with vaccine recommendations to protect against serious illness from the circulating COVID-19 variants. A single dose of a 2023-2024 updated vaccine is recommended for adults (regardless of previous COVID-19 vaccinations or lack thereof).
People with a weakened immune system may need additional doses. People who recently had a COVID-19 infection can consider waiting three months before receiving an updated vaccine.
If you have questions, talk to a healthcare provider about which COVID-19 shots they recommend.
The hepatitis B vaccine protects against hepatitis B, a virus that inflames the liver. Adults aged 19 through 59 should receive a hepatitis B vaccine series. Adults aged 60 and over with risk factors for hepatitis B should complete a vaccine series. It is optional for those aged 60 and over without risk factors.
At age 50 or over, the Shingrix vaccine for shingles is recommended. Shingles is a painful reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. It can have serious complications. Vaccination is given as a two-dose series, between two to six months apart.
Shingrix may also be given to adults 19 and over who have a weakened immune system. Talk to a healthcare provider to determine if it is recommended for you if you are not yet 50.
At age 65 or over, pneumococcal vaccine is recommended to prevent bacterial pneumonia (lung infection) and other illnesses caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. It may also be given to people under 65 with health conditions that make them more susceptible to this bacteria.
Different types of pneumococcal vaccines are available, including PCV15, PCV20, and PPSV23. Talk to a healthcare provider about which pneumococcal vaccine you should receive, depending on your age and vaccination history.
RSV infection can cause serious breathing problems in babies and some adults. At age 60 or over, a healthcare provider may recommend RSV vaccination if you are at a higher risk for severe RSV disease, such as having a weakened immune system, chronic health condition, or living in a nursing home. Talk to a healthcare provider to see if it is right for you.
A pregnant person between the 32nd and 36th week of gestation should receive the RSV vaccine to protect the baby from severe RSV disease without having to give the baby the vaccine after birth. This also depends on the timing of the RSV season.
Adults may receive other vaccinations depending on their health risks or previous vaccination status. These include:
If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, it's important to talk to a healthcare provider about vaccines and when to get them. In general, the CDC recommends pregnant people receive:
While there is no national database to check your vaccination status, your state may have a registry where you can access this information. Contact your state health department to inquire.
If your state doesn't maintain a registry, your current and previous healthcare providers may have medical records with your vaccination records, but these may only be maintained for a limited number of years.
You may need to consult with your parents or caregivers who maintained your childhood vaccination records and with previous schools or jobs that required vaccinations.
It is recommended to personally maintain a record of the vaccinations you have received to keep your information current and accurate. This will save you time and inconvenience when the information is needed.
If you don't have the information and can't track it down, it's generally safe to repeat vaccines if you aren't sure if you've previously received one. In some cases, a healthcare provider can order a blood test that can confirm if you are immune to the disease. This can prevent unnecessary repeat vaccine doses. Discuss your situation with a healthcare provider.
Vaccinations prevent serious diseases and also help protect those around you from acquiring diseases from you. The CDC recommends that adults get certain vaccines, which are usually given in one or more doses.
Read the original article on Verywell Health.2023-11-30T00:49:52Z dg43tfdfdgfd