There are several reasons people may need to be vaccinated against a disease as an adult:
- They weren’t vaccinated as a child
- The childhood vaccine may have worn off
- The vaccine isn’t needed until later in life
- The vaccine changes on a regular basis
Different strains of flu affect people every year. That’s one reason you need to get a flu shot annually. Each year the vaccine is designed to protect against the types of influenza virus expected to be most common. Getting a flu shot helps keep you healthy during the flu season which can start as early as September and last through May.
Tdap is a vaccine that protects against:
Most people are vaccinated against these diseases in childhood. However, the protection can wear off.
If you never had chickenpox as a child you may want to get the varicella vaccine. Chickenpox can be a serious illness in adults. Talk to your provider to see if it is a good choice for you.
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
If you were born in 1957 or later you need at least one dose of this vaccine. Consult with your provider to determine if you need to get an adult MMR.
All adults over 65 are strongly urged to get this vaccine. It is also recommended for adults under age 65 with certain health conditions:
- Long-term health problems
- Compromised immune system
- A history of smoking
Vaccine are available to protect people against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. These vaccines are generally offered to adults who work or live with high risk individuals.
Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), one in every three Americans will develop shingles. Shingles is caused by a return of the virus that causes chickenpox. The one-time vaccine is recommended for adults over age 60. You should get the shot even if you had chickenpox as a child.
Talk to your provider to make sure you are up-to-date on the vaccines that are right for you. At a minimum, almost everyone needs a flu vaccine once a year.
Getting immunized is a lifelong, life-protecting job.