Adults need regular vaccinations too. Whether you’re concerned about your own health or that of your friends, family members, or coworkers, schedule an appointment to talk with your physician about the following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Everyone who’s eligible: The CDC recommends that all eligible adults get an annual influenza vaccine during flu season. Every 10 years you’ll need a Td booster to protect against tetanus and diphtheria — and no matter when your last Td was, you need a one-time Tdap, to protect against pertussis too. Pregnant women are advised to get a Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy, ideally between 27 and 36 weeks of gestation.
Age-related: Adults age 60 and over need a varicella vaccine to reduce their risk of developing shingles. If you’re at least 65 and have not been immunized already, your doctor will likely recommend one of two pneumococcal vaccines, to protect against certain types of pneumonia and meningitis. And depending on when you were born, you may be eligible for “catch-up” vaccination against varicella (chicken pox) and/or MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella).
Special circumstances: Depending on your health, your job, and your lifestyle, you may need other vaccines as well. The CDC recommends that people with diabetes, for instance, be vaccinated against pneumococcus prior to age 65, and that diabetics, healthcare workers, and some others receive a series of vaccines against hepatitis B. If you’re planning to travel internationally in the coming six months, check out www.cdc.gov/travel to find out whether you may need additional vaccines.
“Vaccines are the tugboats of preventive health.” William Foege