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Young Adults Need Vaccines, Too

Group of smiling young adultsThe need for immunization doesn't end in childhood. CDC recommends vaccines throughout life to protect against serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases.

Vaccines are NOT just for kids! Regardless of age, we ALL need immunization to help keep us healthy. Protection from vaccines received as a child can wear off over time, and adults may also be at risk for new and different diseases based on age, health condition, lifestyle, job, travel, or other factors. Even young and healthy adults are susceptible to these serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.

Find Out Which Vaccines You Need

In addition to an annual flu vaccine, young adults (ages 19-26) should get the following vaccines:

  • Some states require students entering colleges and universities to be vaccinated against certain diseases like meningitis due to increased risk among college students living in residential housing. Read more about state mandates or use this tool to get your state's vaccination requirements.

  • Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) if you didn’t receive it as an adolescent
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to protect against certain cancers and other diseases caused by HPV if you didn’t receive it as an adolescent. It is recommended for:
    • Women up to age 26 years
    • Men up to age 21 years
    • Men ages 22-26 who are immunocompromised or who have sex with men
  • Meningococcal vaccine to protect against meningococcal disease for first-year college students living in residence halls

Other vaccinations young adults may need include those that protect against pneumococcal disease, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, chickenpox (varicella), and measles, mumps, and rubella. Recent measles outbreaks are a reminder to check your vaccination status and get vaccinated.

Take this simple quiz to create a customized printout of vaccines you may need, and take with you to your next healthcare visit.

Talk to your healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are right for you.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans that cover children now allow parents to add or keep children on the health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. For more information, see Can children stay on a parent's plan through age 26? or healthcare.gov

Don’t Wait – Vaccinate!

Getting a vaccine-preventable disease can result in missed school, medical bills, and not being able to spend time with friends. Immunizations are an important step in preventing illness and staying healthy. Get vaccinated.

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