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Adult Immunization Schedule

Vaccine

How often

Disease prevented

Who needs it

Influenza

Every year

Flu. This can be especially dangerous to older adults or people with immune disorders.

All adults

Tetanus, diphtheria (Td); or Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap)*

One dose of Tdap, then one dose of Td as a booster every 10 years

Tetanus (lockjaw), a disease that causes muscles to spasm

Diphtheria, an infection that causes fever, weakness, and breathing problems

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough. This is a highly contagious disease that can cause serious illness.

All adults

*This vaccine should be given during each pregnancy, no matter how many years since the last vaccine. The vaccine increases protection for your newborn. A newborn is too young to get the vaccine. But newborns have the highest risk for severe illness and death from pertussis.

Varicella (Var)**

One series of 2 injections

Chickenpox. This is a disease that causes itchy skin bumps, fever, and tiredness. It can lead to scarring, pneumonia, or brain inflammation.

Adults who don’t have evidence of immunity

**This vaccine should not be given to pregnant women. Women should avoid pregnancy for 4 weeks after the vaccine.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

2 to 3 doses depending on age at first dose or condition

 

  • Cervical cancer, caused by some types of HPV

  • Vaginal and vulvar cancer

  • Penile cancer

  • Head and neck cancers

  • Anal cancer

  • Genital warts

Teens and young adults who start the series at ages 15 to 26 need 3 doses of vaccine. This includes:

 

  • Young women through age 26 and young men through age 21

  • Young adults through age 26 with certain conditions that suppress the immune system

  • Young men who have sex with men, including young men who identify as gay or bisexual or who intend to have sex with men through age 26

  • Transgender young adults through age 26

 

HPV vaccine may be given between ages 27 to 45, depending on risk. Ask your healthcare provider if this vaccine is right for you.

Pneumococcal (PCV13)

1 dose at recommended times depending on age and condition

Pneumonia. This is an infection that causes inflammation in your lungs. It can lead to death.

 

  • Adults ages 19 to 64 with weak immune systems or chronic diseases such as chronic kidney failure, lung, heart, or liver disease, certain cancers, and alcoholism. Also recommended for adults with a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak or cochlear implants, and those who smoke cigarettes.

  • Healthy adults ages 65 and older: Talk with your healthcare provider to decide if you need PCV13. PPSV23 is recommended for all adults 65 years and older.

 

Pneumococcal (PPSV23)

 1 or 2 doses depending on age and condition

Pneumonia. This is an infection that causes inflammation in your lungs. It can lead to death.

 

  • All adults ages 65 and older.

  • Adults ages 19 to 64 with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, COPD, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, alcoholism, sickle cell disease, or history of splenectomy. Also, adults with an immune disorder and those who smoke cigarettes.

 

Vaccine

How often

Disease prevented

Who needs it

Zoster***

1 or 2 doses, depending on the type of vaccine:

  • The CDC advises a 2-dose vaccine; the second dose given 2 to 6 months after the first

  • Live zoster vaccine*** is 1 dose

Herpes zoster (shingles), a painful rash marked by blisters

Adults ages 50 and older, including those who have already had shingles.

***You should not get the live vaccine if your immune system is low. For example, if you have HIV, are taking medicines that suppress your immune system, or are getting cancer treatment.

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)**

1 or 2 doses, for ages 19 through 49; 1 dose for ages 50 and older if at risk

Measles, a disease marked by red spots, fever, and coughing

Mumps, a disease that causes swelling in the salivary glands. It may affect the ovaries or testes.

Rubella (German measles). This is a form of measles that can cause birth defects if a pregnant woman catches it.

Adults born in 1957 or later who are not known to be immune to all 3 of these diseases. Ask your healthcare provider if you need a second dose.

**This vaccine should not be given to pregnant women. Women should avoid pregnancy for 4 weeks after vaccination.

Meningococcal

Two types of vaccines are available depending on age and medical situation:

 

  • Meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY)

  • Serogroup B vaccines (MenB)

 

1 or more doses depending on vaccine type and condition

Meningococcal disease (bacterial meningitis). This is inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. It can lead to death.

Adults with immune deficiencies or at high risk of exposure. Also, college freshmen living in dormitories and military recruits.

Ask your healthcare provider about meningococcal disease and which vaccine may be right for you.

Hepatitis A (HepA)

One series of 2 injections

Hepatitis A. This is an infection that can result in acute liver inflammation and yellow skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice).

Adults with risk factors, such as clotting disorders or chronic liver disease, and adults with high risk of exposure. This includes men who have sex with men, IV (intravenous) drug users, and travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common.

Hepatitis B (HepB)

One series of 3 injections

Hepatitis B. This is an infection that causes chronic, severe liver disease.

Adults with high risk of exposure, such as healthcare providers and sanitation workers, and adults with diabetes

Travelers’ diseases

As needed

Infections such as cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, polio, rabies, meningococcal disease, hepatitis A, hepatitis B

Adults traveling out of the country. Required vaccines will vary, depending on the country you visit. Check the CDC website: www.cdc.gov.

Based on the CDC National Immunization Program recommendations for adults

Online Medical Reviewer: Barry Zingman MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2019
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