Skip to content

Vaccines Health Center

Font Size

Vaccine Schedule for Adults

You still need vaccinations when you become an adult. They're important for lifelong good health, just like childhood immunizations. While some vaccinations are prescribed only for adults, others are for grown-ups who didn't get the vaccines -- or the illnesses they help protect against -- in childhood.

This vaccine schedule offers basic information about the most common vaccines for adults. Your personal needs may be different. If you're traveling to developing countries, your doctor may recommend other shots. If you're pregnant or have certain health problems or allergies, not all of these vaccinations may be right for you.

Did You Know?

Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive care services, including checkups, vaccinations and screening tests, at no cost to you. Learn more.

Health Insurance Center

Your doctor is the best source of information about the vaccinations you need.

Flu Vaccine

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 get it, the better your protection throughout the season.

Who should get it: All adults should get the vaccine in some form. The nasal spray version is approved for adults up to age 49 who are in good health and not pregnant. There are some other options, such as egg-free shots for those with severe egg allergies, and shots using smaller needles that don't pierce as deeply, and high-dose injections for people who are more vulnerable, like those over age 65.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

How it is given: By injection.

How often/when to get it: There are two pneumococcal vaccines. If you are a healthy adult over age 65, it's now recommended you receive both vaccines. The timing and sequence of the vaccines will vary depending on what vaccine you may have previously had. Doctors recommend another dose 5 years later for people with chronic kidney failure or other conditions that lower their ability to fight infection. They also say that people who get their first dose before age 65 get a second dose after 65.

Who should get it: All adults 65 and older; adults 64 and younger who:

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

passport, pills and vaccine
25 ways to protect yourself from illness.
syringes and graph illustration
Create a personalized schedule.
flu shot signage
Get answers to your questions
gloved hand holding syringe
Which ones do you need?
woman walking
Vaccine Schedule Are Your Childs Shots Up To Date
69x75 thumbnail early pregnancy 02
gloved hand holding syringe
adult vaccine injection
woman peeking under sheets
cold season and vitamin C
Adult Meningitis Vaccines What You Should Know