Woman getting a flu vaccine

What are adult vaccines and who should get them?

Currently, the world is focused on the development of a COVID vaccine, but how much do you know about other vaccines that adults might need?

Vaccines keep your immune system strong by helping your body fight off bacteria or viruses that cause infections and potentially life-threatening diseases. It is still important to get immunizations as an adult because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. 

Use these guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay on schedule with adult immunizations:

INFLUENZA (FLU): Every person should get the flu vaccine each year. The flu can cause serious harm to people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. The best way to protect yourself and others around you is to get vaccinated yearly.

TD/TDAP/TETANUS: Tetanus is an infection caused by a bacteria found in soil, dust or manure. The tetanus vaccine is available with the diphtheria (Td) vaccine or the diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. Adults should receive the Tdap if they did not receive it as a child, and every adult should receive a Td booster every 10 years. 

HERPES ZOSTER:
Contrary to popular belief, if you had chicken pox during childhood, you can still get shingles in adulthood because they are caused by the same virus. It may be inactive in the body, but it can reactivate years later, causing shingles. Doctors recommend all healthy adults ages 50 and older get this vaccination, even if you have had shingles. There are two types for adults over 50 years of age: Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (RZV) & Zoster Vaccine Live (ZVL).

PNEUMOCOCCAL:
Pneumococcal disease is an infection that causes pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. The bacteria could cause lifelong complications or even death. There are two variations of this vaccine - Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23. This vaccine is recommended for children under 2 and adults 65 years or older. You may need one or both, depending on your age and health condition. Ask your doctor.

It is very important to check with your doctor to stay on schedule for all your recommended immunizations. If you need a Primary Care doctor, our Adult and Senior Care practices are accepting new patients.