Immunizations - Adult Immunizations
Who should get it?
- Adults who have a damaged or missing
spleen or who have certain
immune system problems need two initial doses and then a booster dose every 5 years.
- Adults who have a higher risk than
others for getting and having severe problems from meningitis need one shot. This includes adults who will travel or live in areas
of the world where the disease is common.
For adults up to age 55, the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) is usually given. Adults older than age 55 are immunized with the meningococcal
polysaccharide (MPSV4) vaccine, called Menomune. Some people may need booster shots.
Polio (IPV)(What is a PDF document?)
This shot protects against
Who should get it?
- Adults whose travel or job puts them at increased risk for exposure
to polio need three doses of this shot.
- Adults who never had the full series of oral polio vaccine (OPV) or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and who have an increased risk of being exposed to polio need the shots they missed.
Routine polio immunization is not recommended for
adults (ages 18 and older) who live in the United States.
Consult your doctor or public health department if
you missed an immunization or to find out whether you need a specific
immunization. For more information about each vaccine, see the topic
Vaccine Information Statements.
Immunizations and pregnancy
Before you become pregnant, discuss your immunization history with your doctor. Your
immunity protects both you and your baby. Some vaccines (such as the ones for flu and Tdap) can be given during pregnancy. Some vaccines need to be given before or soon after pregnancy.
If you are pregnant, your children should still
get their immunizations on schedule. You do not need to speed up or delay your
other children's immunizations.
You may worry that
immunizations are dangerous if they are given when you have a cold or other minor
illness. Talk to your doctor if you have
concerns about the timing of shots. But keep in mind
that shots can usually still be given during a mild illness, while medicines
are being taken, and in other situations where you may not be in perfect
health. There are very few reasons for which doctors suggest that a person
postpone or not get an immunization.
For more information about vaccine safety studies and vaccine side effects, see the topic Immunization Safety.