5 Vaccines Recommended for Adults
Children are often fearful of annual checkups in anticipation of receiving immunizations. From birth to their teen years, a variety of immunizations are recommended to protect them from infections, diseases and viruses, some which were life-threatening just a few decades ago. Keeping vaccinations current is among the most important things you can do for a child’s health.
Vaccines are important for adults, too. They help adults stay healthy and are an essential tool, critical for avoiding debilitating diseases that become more difficult to recover from as you age.
“Some adults are under the impression that once they get their flu vaccine, they’ve done everything they need to do to protect their health,” said Priya Mathew, DO. “However, vaccines are recommended throughout adulthood based on age, lifestyle and travel habits.”
The Vaccine Schedule for Adults
While the majority of vaccines will be administered in the first years of life, here are the ones that Abington-Jefferson Health recommends in adulthood.
- Flu vaccine: Once a year, it’s important to receive a flu vaccine. Obtain it yearly since it protects from the flu strains that are most prevalent that year. The flu vaccine is a must for people with health issues, pregnant women, and the elderly.
“Getting the flu means a few miserable days for most people,” said Dr. Mathew. “However, for those who are very young, very old, and who have health conditions, the flu can become very serious and even life-threatening.”
- Tdap and Td: If you did not have the DTaP vaccine as a child, you should have the Tdap as an adult to protect you against pertussis (whooping cough). Women should also get Tdap any time they are pregnant. Every 10 years, adults should have the Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster shot.
Adults 19 to 26
Young adults should receive or complete the HPV vaccine, which protects against the human papilloma virus. HPV can lead to cervical cancer, anal cancer, and genital warts. Getting the vaccine helps to reduce the spread of this virus among sexually active young people.
Adults 60 and Older
- Zoster vaccine: The Zoster vaccine is recommended for people over 60 to help protect from shingles. Shingles is a painful condition that can affect anyone who once had the chicken pox, and it’s most common in older adults.
- Pneumococcal vaccine: Adults 65 and over, as well as younger adults with certain health conditions, should receive the pneumococcal vaccine to help prevent pneumonia. You should receive a second dose one year after your first dose to complete your immunity.
Other Vaccines to Discuss with your Physician
Additional vaccines above and beyond those that are recommended for all adults may be recommended if you plan to travel internationally or have certain health conditions.
If you have certain health conditions or allergies, some vaccines are not recommended due to their ingredients or how they may affect your body or your condition.
“Ask your doctor which vaccines are right for you,” said Dr. Mathew,” and be sure to mention recent or future trips outside of the U.S.”
To find out which vaccinations you may need, schedule an annual checkup with your doctor now.
If you do not have a primary care physician, please call 215-481-MEDI. Our team can match your insurance, location and preferences to help you find the right doctor for you.