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What Vaccines are Recommended for You

Immunizations are not just for children. Protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off over time. You may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable disease due to your job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions.

You may also be recommended to get some vaccines based on your age. But, regardless, of age, all adults need immunizations to help them prevent getting and spreading serious diseases that could result in poor health, missed work, medical bills, and not being able to care for family.

All adults

  • Seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine
    All adults need a flu vaccine every year. Flu vaccine is especially important for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, and older adults.
  • Td or Tdap vaccine: Every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years. In addition, women should get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.

Talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended for you at your next medical appointment.

Adults 19 – 26 years old

In addition to seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine and Td or Tdap vaccine (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), you should also get:

  • HPV vaccine which protects against the human papillomaviruses that causes most cervical cancers, anal cancer, and genital warts. It is recommended for:
    • women up to age 26 years
    • men up to age 21 years
    • men ages 22-26 who have sex with men

Some vaccines may be recommended for adults because of particular job or school-related requirements, health conditions, lifestyle or other factors. For example, 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.

Talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended for you at your next medical appointment.

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.

Adults 60 years or older

An estimated 1 million Americans get shingles every year, and about half of them are 60 years old or older. Additionally, over 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older.

As we get older, our immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting us at higher risk for certain diseases. Which is why, in addition to seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine and Td or Tdap vaccine (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), you should also get:

  • Pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against pneumococcal diseases that cause infections in the lungs, blood, brain and ear (for all adults over 65 years old, and for adults younger than 65 years who have certain chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or who smoke)
  • Zoster vaccine, which protects against shingles (for adults 60 years or older)

Talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended for you at your next medical appointment.

Adults with Health Conditions

All adults need a seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine and Td or Tdap vaccine (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) but there may be additional vaccines recommended for you.  Learn more about which vaccines you may need if you have any of these conditions:

Talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended for you based on your specific health status, age, and lifestyle.

Pregnant Women

In addition to seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine, it is important that pregnant women get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks, to help protect their baby against whooping cough. You may also need other vaccines. Visit Vaccines for Pregnant Women to learn more.

Talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended for you at your next medical appointment.

Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk for exposure to serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. If you work directly with patients or handle material that could spread infection, you should get appropriate vaccines to reduce the chance that you will get or spread vaccine-preventable diseases.

In addition to seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine and Td or Tdap vaccine (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), you should also get:

  • Hepatitis B: If you don't have documented evidence of a complete hepB vaccine series, or if you don't have an up-to-date blood test that shows you are immune to hepatitis B (i.e., no serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination) then you should get the 3-dose series (dose #1 now, #2 in 1 month, #3 approximately 5 months after #2). Get anti-HBs serologic tested 1–2 months after dose #3.
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, & Rubella): If you were born in 1957 or later and have not had the MMR vaccine, or if you don't have an up-to-date blood test that shows you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella (i.e., no serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination), get 2 doses of MMR, 4 weeks apart.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox): If you have not had chickenpox (varicella), if you haven't had varicella vaccine, or if you don't have an up-to-date blood test that shows you are immune to varicella (i.e., no serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination) get 2 doses of varicella vaccine, 4 weeks apart.
  • Meningococcal: Those who are routinely exposed to isolates of N. meningitidis should get one dose.

Visit Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers to learn more.

International Travelers

If you are planning on visiting or living abroad you may need certain vaccinations.

Get the vaccines you need:

STEP 1: Make sure you are up-to-date with all recommended vaccinations. Take this the adult vaccination quiz to determine which vaccines you need and create a customized printout to take with you to your next medical appointment. Talk with your doctor or healthcare professional and get any vaccines that you may have missed.

STEP 2: Visit the CDC Travel Health site for more information about recommendations and requirements for the locations you will be visiting during your travel.

STEP 3: Make an appointment to get recommended vaccines at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Planning ahead will give you enough time to build up immunity and get best protection from vaccines that may require multiple doses.

Many state and local health departments throughout the United States provide travel vaccinations. You can find more travel vaccination information as well as where to find travel vaccinations at CDC's Travelers' Health Clinic page.

For additional information on smart travel and packing a travel health kit, see Immunization for Travelers fact sheet [1 page].

For more information:

Who Should NOT Be Vaccinated

Some adults with specific health conditions should not get certain vaccines or should wait to get them. Read more about who should not get each vaccine.

Talk with your doctor to make sure you get the vaccines that are right for you.

To learn more about these diseases and the benefits and potential risks associated with the vaccines, read the Vaccine Information Statements (VIS).

CDC Vaccine Related Features

  • Vaccines Help Protect Travelers of All Ages Travel within the United States or to other countries can be an opportunity to volunteer, work, or relax, but it can also put you or your family at risk for serious diseases. Make sure you and your loved ones are protected with vaccines against serious diseases.
  • Are You at High Risk for Serious Illness from Flu? If you are at high risk, flu vaccination is especially important to decrease your risk of severe flu illness. Get your flu vaccine today.
  • Pneumonia Can Be Prevented - Vaccines Can Help Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. Globally, pneumonia causes more deaths than any other infectious disease. It can often be prevented and can usually be treated.
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - What You Need To Know Pertussis (whooping cough) is very contagious and can cause serious illness—especially in infants too young to be fully vaccinated. Pertussis vaccines are recommended for children, teens, and adults, including pregnant women.
  • Tetanus: Make Sure You and Your Child Are Fully Immunized Playing outdoors can mean getting cuts that may become infected with bacteria commonly found in soil, including the ones that cause tetanus. Tetanus vaccine can help prevent tetanus disease, commonly known as "lockjaw."
  • Protect Yourself against Shingles: Get Vaccinated Almost 1 out of 3 people in America will develop shingles during their lifetime. Your risk increases as you get older. People 60 years of age or older should get vaccinated against this painful disease.
  • Hepatitis Awareness Take CDC's new online Hepatitis Risk Assessment. Answer a few questions and then you will receive personalized viral hepatitis testing and vaccination recommendations.

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