Vaccines: Get Up to Date With This Handy Checklist

If you’re an adult, you may be thinking that vaccines are for kids — and that you’re good to go.

Here’s something important to know: Adults need vaccines too. And many people may not be as protected as they think.

Here are three key reasons why:

  1. The protection of some vaccines fades over time. So even if you got all your vaccines as a child, you may still need booster shots.
  2. You may be at higher risk for some diseases because of your health, lifestyle or age.
  3. Vaccines may reduce the chance of passing on a serious disease to your loved ones — including babies who are too young for some immunizations. 

Am I up to date?

Take this checklist with you to your next doctor visit. Ask which vaccines may be right for you. Some may only be needed in certain cases.*  

___ Influenza vaccine. The flu virus can cause serious — even deadly — complications. Annual shots are recommended for everyone 6 months and older. They’re especially important for people at high risk of severe illness, such as:

  • Anyone younger than 5
  • Anyone 65 or older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or asthma

___ Tdap or Td vaccine. Tdap helps protect against tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Td helps protect against tetanus and diphtheria.

___ MMR vaccine. This helps protect against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles).

___ Pneumococcal vaccines. These help protect against illnesses such as pneumonia.

___ Hepatitis A and B vaccines. These help protect against serious liver diseases.

___ Hib vaccine. This helps protect against a dangerous bacterial disease called Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

___ HPV vaccines. These help protect against human papillomavirus. Certain types of this virus may cause cervical and other cancers. The vaccines are recommended for preteen girls and boys. But young women and men (up to age 26) may still need them if they didn’t get vaccinated as kids.

___ Meningococcal vaccine. This helps protect against meningitis and blood infections. It’s particularly important for college students who will be living in residence halls and people with certain health conditions.

___ Varicella vaccine. This helps protect against chickenpox. You may need it if you haven’t had chickenpox before or weren’t vaccinated as a child.

___ Shingles (zoster) vaccine. This helps protect against a painful skin rash. It’s generally for adults 60 and older.

What to do next

*Check your benefit plan to see what services may be covered. This information is not medical advice. Consult your doctor to determine which vaccines may be right for you.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be nor should be construed as medical or other advice. Talk to an appropriate health care professional to determine what may be right for you.

Last reviewed July 2017

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