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PREVENT

Vaccines aren't just kid stuff

You're probably vigilant about making sure your kids get their vaccines on schedule, but do you pay as much attention to what vaccinations you should be getting? How about your spouse or parent? As adults, we also need immunizations to prevent us from getting serious, life-threatening diseases. A person's specific needs may vary, but there are immunization guidelines for the average, healthy adult. Find your age group and see if you're protected.  

Ages 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

Ages 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

Ages 27-59

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

Ages 60-64

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

    Ages 65+

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

    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 health care professional at your next physical to decide what's right for you.

    Special note for pregnant women

    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!

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