Are Your Shots Up-to-Date?

By Floria, Barbara

Parents usually know what vaccines their children need, but they may not be aware that they need shots as well. The CDC estimates that about 60,000 American adults die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Recommendations for vaccinations vary from person to person because many factors affect health. Discuss your need for vaccinations with your health care provider.

Meningococcal vaccine

This vaccine is recommended for at-risk adults, usually those with immune system problems, and people living in a group setting, including college students residing in dorms.

Tetanus-diphtheria vaccine

Adolescents usually get a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) shot at about age 12. Because it’s recommended that adults get tetanus boosters every 10 years, most adults will be due for another shot in their early 20s. You also may need a tetanus shot if you have a dirty wound and it has been more than five years since your last shot. Adults should receive a single dose of Tdap to replace a single dose of Td for booster immunization against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough), if they received their last Td 10 or more years ago and have not gotten Tdap before.

Hepatitis B vaccine

Adults who are health care workers or hemodialysis patients, and people who receive certain blood products, travel internationally, inject drugs, or are sexually active should get the hepatitis B vaccine.

Hepatitis A vaccine

This vaccine is recommended for adults who travel internationally.

Influenza vaccine

A yearly flu shot is recommended for adults ages 50 and older and anyone else who wants to decrease the chance of getting the flu.

Pneumococcal vaccine

This vaccine should be given to anyone age 65 or older and to people ages 2 to 64 who have immune system problems or a chronic illness, or who are living in nursing homes.

Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)

Adults born after 1956 should receive a dose of MMR if they’ve never had one and don’t have proof they are immune. Women of childbearing age also should have an MMR shot if they don’t have proof of rubella immunity.

Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

Adults should receive the chickenpox vaccine if they’ve never had chickenpox or don’t have proof they are immune.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine

Gardasil is a new vaccine for young women between ages 9 and 26. The vaccine protects recipients against four types of HPV, the two that cause most cervical cancers and the two that cause the most genital warts.

Medical Reviewer: [O'Brien, Chris RN, MPH, Whorton, Donald M.D.] Last Annual Review Date: 2008-03-19T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: Copyright Health Ink & Vitality Communications

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