Vaccines: Not Just for KidsRecommended Vaccines for Adults
As an adult, you can’t afford to get sick and miss work, school or any part of your busy life. While you can’t avoid every illness, there are some ways to protect yourself from certain diseases. Thousands of adults become seriously ill and are hospitalized every year because of diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. Vaccines work by using your body’s natural defenses to help you safely develop immunity to disease. The best way to protect yourself from certain diseases, which can be deadly in some cases, is by getting vaccinated.
Specific vaccines are recommended in various age groups, particularly in older adults since the body’s ability to fight infections can decrease over time. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) immunization schedule for adults can help you determine which vaccine is right for your age, lifestyle or medical condition, taking into consideration which vaccines you may have already received. You can always consult your health care provider or pharmacist for more information.
Adults should make sure they are up to date on the most common recommended vaccines below:
- Seasonal influenza (flu) – Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine every year to help reduce the risk of flu and its complications.
- Tetanus and diphtheria (Td) – A Td vaccine booster dose is recommended for all adults every 10 years.
- Pertussis, also known as whooping cough (Tdap) – One dose of the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine is recommended for all adults who have not previously received it, no matter when you got your last tetanus shot. Pregnant women also need the Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy.
- Shingles – Two doses of the shingles, or herpes zoster, vaccine is recommended for adults 50 years and older.
- Pneumococcal disease – It is recommended that adults 65 years and older receive one dose of a pneumococcal vaccine. Adults younger than 65 years who have specific health conditions or smoke cigarettes are also eligible. A second pneumococcal vaccine is also available for added protection for certain individuals.
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As an aging immune system tends to weaken over time, so does the risk for certain diseases. With vaccines, you can decrease your risk for potentially serious diseases that are preventable and, at the same time, protect your own health as well as the health of those around you.