The need for vaccinations doesn’t stop when you become an adult. Adult vaccinations, just like childhood immunizations, are important for lifelong good health. While some vaccinations are prescribed only for adults, others are for adults who did not receive the vaccines -- or in some cases, the illnesses they were designed to protect against -- in childhood.
WebMD presents this vaccine schedule, offering basic information about the most common vaccines for adults. In you are traveling to developing countries, your doctor may recommend others. On the other hand, if you are pregnant or have certain health problems or allergies, not all of these vaccinations may be right for you.
Medical sleuths have been trailing the elusive cold and flu viruses for more
than a century. Now they finally might be onto something. A universal flu
vaccine could be on the horizon -- and even more effective treatments for the
common cold. Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD, is one of the most ardent sleuths. His
perp -- the flu virus -- has caused the deaths of more than 36,000 Americans,
and that’s just in one year.
Marasco is an associate professor of medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer
Your health care provider is the best source of information about the vaccinations you need.
Flu Vaccine Schedule
How it’s given: By injection or nasal spray.
How often/when to get it: Once a year, typically starting in September through the end of the flu season. The earlier you receive it, the better your protection.
Who should get it: All adults should receive the vaccine in some form. The nasal spray vaccine is approved for adults up to age 49 who are in good health and not pregnant.
Pneumococcal Vaccine Schedule
How it is given: By injection.
How often/when to get it: One-time vaccination for healthy adults. Re-vaccination after five years is recommended for people with chronic kidney failure or other conditions that lower resistance to infection and for people over 65 who received the first vaccination before age 65.
Who should get it: All adults 65 years of age and older; adults 64 and younger who:
How it is given: As a single injection that offers protection against all three diseases.
How often/when to get it: One-time Tdap vaccination followed by Td booster every 10 years.
Who should get it? Adults up to age 64 who have not previously had a Tdap vaccination in place of Td and adults age 65 and older who have not previously received Tdap and have or anticipate having close contact with an infant less than 12 months of age. All adults should receive subsequent Td boosters. Also, pregnant women are advised to receive the Tdap vaccine, preferably between 27 and 36 weeks' gestation, with each pregnancy.