What you need to know about common adult vaccines
Vaccines prevent many common infectious diseases, so it’s important to stay up to date. Kevin Via, MD, shared a breakdown of the recommended vaccines and who should get them.
Flu: The flu shot is recommended every year, starting in September, for people of all ages. This shot is yearly so the vaccine can keep up with the changing flu virus and offer the best protection.
Tetanus: A tetanus shot is recommended every 10 years for all ages in order to maintain immunity. This shot protects you against the bacterial infection tetanus, also known as lockjaw. Tetanus can get into the body through broken skin, most commonly through objects carrying the infection breaking through your skin, like a rusty nail or other sharp object.
Pneumonia: There are two pneumonia vaccines. Prevnar and Pneumovax are both one-time vaccines recommended for adults older than 65. It is recommended that you receive both shots. The second about a year after the first. Sometimes a pneumonia shot is given before the age of 65 if someone has medical problems such as diabetes or COPD. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs.
Shingles: This two-dose vaccine is recommended for adults older than 50. Shingles is a viral infection that affects your nerves. It can cause burning, pain, tingling or itching, as well as a rash and blisters.
Human papillomavirus (HPV): This vaccine is recommended for ages 11–27 for protection against certain types of HPV, a common virus that can cause cervical cancer. This is a two-dose vaccine that is given only once.
COVID-19: The recommendations for this vaccine are changing often and there are different vaccine options available for protection against COVID-19. Please see the CDC website for the most up-to-date recommendations.
Travel: There are many travel vaccinations that vary depending on your destination. These can include hepatitis A, typhoid and yellow fever. The CDC website has good resources about recommendations specific to every country. You should start this process at least six months before your travel date.
Vaccines have long been a useful tool that keep people healthy. Dr. Via said all the vaccines above have been thoroughly researched and proven to be safe. Common nonemergent side effects can include soreness at the injection site, fatigue and headache.
“It is important to remember that every person has different allergies and healthcare issues, so it is always recommended to discuss any potential vaccines with your doctor. Be healthy everyone,” said Dr. Via.
Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, including how to get the shot.