All adults should get vaccines to protect their health. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill and pass diseases on to others. Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed at their doctor’s office, pharmacy, or other visits with health care providers. Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person’s age, occupation, or health conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes or heart disease).
Vaccination is important because it protects the person receiving the vaccine and helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those who are most vulnerable to serious complications (such as infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems).
All adults, including pregnant women, should get the influenza (flu) vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu. Every adult should have one dose of Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis or whooping cough) if they did not get Tdap as a teen, and then get the Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster vaccine every 10 years. Pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.
Adults 60 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. And adults 65 and older are recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain high-risk conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations.
Adults may need other vaccines (such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HPV) depending on their age, occupation, travel, medical conditions, vaccinations they have already received, or other considerations.