man wearing face cover pulls up shirt sleeve as he prepares for a vaccine injection

PREVENT

Vaccines aren't just kid stuff

  • Adults also need immunizations to prevent serious, life-threatening diseases.
  • For most people, any side effects of the flu shot are mild and go away on their own in a few days.
  • The flu shot reduces your risk of getting the flu by about 50 percent.

Immunizations aren't just for kids. Adults also need immunizations to prevent serious, life-threatening diseases. Your specific needs may vary, but there are immunization guidelines for average, healthy adults. Find your age group below and see if you're protected. During COVID-19, you can feel safe and make an appointment for your yearly physical.

Vaccines for adults aged 19-21

  • Annual flu vaccine
  • Td/Tdap vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) every ten years
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) if you did not get this when you were a child
  • Meningococcal vaccine for any previously unvaccinated first-year college students who are or who will be living in a residence hall

Vaccines for adults aged 22-26

  • Annual flu vaccine
  • Td/Tdap vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough every ten years
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) if you did not get this when you were younger

Vaccines for adults aged 27-59

  • Annual flu vaccine
  • Td/Tdap vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis every ten years

Vaccines for adults aged 60-65+

  • Annual flu vaccine
  • Td/Tdap vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough every ten years
  • Shingles vaccine
  • Pneumococcal (starting at 66)

Your health care provider may recommend additional vaccines if you have certain risk factors due to your age, health, lifestyle, job or if you've missed vaccinations in the past. These may include vaccines to protect against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); chickenpox; or hepatitis A or B. Talk with your provider at your next physical to decide what's right for you.

Special note on flu shots and vaccines for pregnant women

The seasonal flu shot helps boost your immunity to the strains of flu that experts believe will be most prevalent in the coming flu season. On average, a seasonal flu shot reduces your risk of getting the flu by about 50 percent. To prevent seasonal flu, the best time to get a flu shot is in October. However, since flu season typically can run through early spring, you can still get the benefits getting a flu shot later than October.

Pregnant women and their babies are at increased risk for complications related to the flu. In addition, infants are at the highest risk of severe illness from whooping cough. Influenza and whooping cough vaccines are safe and important for pregnant women and their infants. Newborns are too young to receive immunizations directly, so vaccination during pregnancy is critical to protect infants until they're old enough to receive their own immunizations.

  • The flu vaccine is recommended in any trimester for all women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during the flu season.
  • A whooping cough vaccine (Tdap) is recommended between 27 and 36 weeks of each pregnancy.

Finally, if you are traveling outside the United States you many need additional vaccines. Ask your health care provider about which vaccines you may need at least six weeks prior to your travel.

Remember, you never outgrow the need for immunizations!

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Share this article

MORE LIKE THIS

Can you be addicted to Facebook?

Continue reading

EMPOWER YOURSELF


Get fun, inspiring, provider-reviewed articles sent to your inbox.

Sign up for our email newsletter