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Vaccine Schedule for Adults

HPV vaccine (Human Papillomavirus)

How it is given: In a series of three injections.

How often/when to get it: Preferably in preteen years. The second shot is given 1 to 2 months after the first. The third shot is given 6 months after the first.

Who should get it? Young women and some men up to age 26 who didn't receive it as preteens or teenagers, preferably before they've become sexually active.

MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) Schedule

How it is given: By a single dose that offers protection against measles, mumps, and rubella.

How often/when to get it: One injection, in some cases followed by a booster 4 weeks later.

Who should get it? Non-pregnant adults who were born after 1957 and have not had measles, mumps, and rubella, or do not have lab evidence of immunity, should get one or more doses.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

How it is given: By injection.

How often/when to get it: Any time, in two doses given at least 4 weeks apart.

Who should get it? Healthy adults who are not pregnant, haven't had chickenpox before, and have no evidence of immunity to it.

Meningococcal Vaccine

How it is given: By injection.

How often/when to get it: One-time immunization, typically in adolescence, with boosters as recommended by doctor.

Who should get it? Adults who haven't been vaccinated should receive it if they:

  • Are a college freshman living in a dormitory
  • Are a military recruit
  • Have a damaged spleen or their spleen has been removed
  • Have terminal complement deficiency
  • Are a microbiologist routinely exposed to the bacterium that causes meningitis, Neisseria meningitidis
  • Are traveling to or living in countries in which the disease is common

Shingles (Zoster) Vaccine

How it is given: By injection.

How often/when to get it: Once, at age 60 or later.

Who should get it? All people 60 or older unless they have health problems or receive medications or treatments that affect the body’s ability to fight infection.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on September 09, 2014
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