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Immunizations - Adult Immunizations

Hepatitis B (Hep B)(What is a PDF document?)

This shot protects against hepatitis B disease. Three doses are needed over at least 4 months.

Who should get it?

  • Adults ages 19 to 59 who have diabetes need this shot if they have not had the shot before. This vaccine is optional for adults ages 60 and older who have diabetes and have not had the shot before.
  • Other adults who have not had this vaccine series need this shot when occupation, travel, health condition, or lifestyle increases their risk of exposure.

A hepatitis combination vaccine (Twinrix) is recommended for those who are at risk for both hepatitis A and hepatitis B. This vaccine is approved in the United States only for those 18 years of age or older.

Pneumococcal

This shot does not necessarily reduce your risk of getting pneumonia, but it can prevent some of the serious complications of pneumonia, such as infection in the bloodstream (bacteremia) or throughout the body (septicemia).

Your doctor can help you choose between the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax, or PPSV)(What is a PDF document?) or the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar, or PCV)(What is a PDF document?).

Who should get it?

  • All adults ages 65 years and older need one dose. This includes adults who, at age 65, remain at high risk for pneumococcal infection and who received their last dose more than 5 years ago.
  • People who are at high risk for pneumococcal infection usually need more than one dose. For example:
    • People ages 2 years to 64 years who have a chronic disease (such as diabetes or heart, lung, or liver disease) need PPSV.
    • People ages 19 to 64 years who have asthma or who smoke cigarettes need PPSV.
    • People ages 19 and older who have immune system problems, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, cochlear implants, no spleen, or a damaged spleen need both PCV and PPSV.

Shingles (herpes zoster)(What is a PDF document?)

This shot (called Zostavax) protects against shingles.

Who should get it?

  • Adults ages 60 and older need one dose, whether or not they've had shingles before. People ages 50 to 59 can also get this shot, but insurance may not cover it.

Zostavax is not a substitute for the chickenpox shot (Varivax).

Shingles: Should I Get a Shot to Prevent Shingles?

Tetanus and diphtheria (Td)(What is a PDF document?) or Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap)(What is a PDF document?)

The Tdap shot protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis). The Td shot does not protect against pertussis.

Who should get it?

  • All adults need Td booster shots every 10 years throughout life.
  • All adults need one shot of Tdap in place of a Td shot.
  • All pregnant women need a Tdap shot during each pregnancy.

It's important to get the Tdap shot at least 2 weeks before having close contact with a baby.

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