Adults With Chronic Conditions: Get Vaccinated
Vaccines are recommended for all adults to help prevent getting and spreading diseases. Vaccines are especially important for those with chronic conditions, who are more likely to develop complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Find out which vaccines are recommended for you.
Vaccines are an important step in protecting adults against serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. Even if you were vaccinated at a younger age, the protection from some vaccines can wear off or the viruses or bacteria that the vaccines protect against change so your resistance is not as strong. As you get older, you may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases due to your age, job, hobbies, travel, or health conditions.
CDC recommends that all adults get the following vaccines:
- Influenza vaccine every year to protect against seasonal flu
- Td vaccine every 10 years to protect against tetanus
- Tdap vaccine once instead of Td vaccine to protect against tetanus and diphtheria plus pertussis (whooping cough) and during each pregnancy for women
- Other vaccines you need as an adult are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, job, health condition and vaccines you have had in the past. Vaccines you need may include those that protect against: shingles, human papillomavirus (which can cause certain cancers), pneumococcal disease, meningococcal disease, hepatitis A and B, chickenpox (varicella), measles, mumps, and rubella
Adults with chronic conditions are more likely to develop complications, including long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death, from certain vaccine-preventable diseases.Talk to your doctor to make sure you are up to date on the vaccines that are recommended for you.
For more information about heart disease and stroke prevention, visit millionhearts.hhs.gov.
People with heart disease, or those who have had a stroke, have a higher risk of serious medical complications from the flu, including worsening of their heart disease. People with heart disease are at almost three times higher risk of being hospitalized with flu than those without heart disease.
CDC recommends people with heart disease get a yearly influenza (flu) vaccine. They should also get pneumococcal vaccines, once as an adult before 65 years of age and then two more doses at 65 years or older. Visit CDC's heart disease and vaccination page to learn more.
People with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other conditions that affect the lungs have a higher risk of complication from influenza (the flu) even if the condition is mild and symptoms are controlled. Since people with asthma and COPD have sensitive airways, inflammation from the flu can cause asthma attacks or make asthma and COPD symptoms worse. Those with asthma, COPD, or other conditions that affect the lungs are more likely to develop pneumonia and other respiratory diseases after getting sick with the flu than those without these conditions.
Ask your doctor which vaccines are right for you.
CDC recommends people with asthma, COPD, or other conditions that affect the lungs get a yearly flu vaccine. If you have a lung condition, you should also get pneumococcal vaccines—once as an adult before 65 years of age, and then two more doses at 65 years or older. Your doctor may recommend additional vaccines based on your lifestyle, travel habits, and other factors. To learn more, visit CDC's page on lung disease and adult vaccination.
People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of hepatitis B virus infection. Hepatitis B can be spread through sharing of blood glucose meters, finger stick devices, or other diabetes care equipment such as insulin pens. Diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, can also weaken the immune system's ability to fight the flu. People with diabetes, even if well managed, are more likely than those without diabetes to have complications from the flu such as pneumonia, which can lead to hospitalization.
CDC recommends people with diabetes get pneumococcal vaccines, once as an adult before 65 years of age and then two more doses at 65 years or older, a yearly influenza (flu) vaccine, and a hepatitis B vaccine series if they're between the ages of 19 and 59. If you are 60 years or older, talk to your doctor to see if you should get hepatitis B vaccine. CDC has more information on diabetes and adult vaccination to help you learn about the vaccines you need.
- Page last reviewed: August 1, 2016
- Page last updated: August 1, 2016
- Content source:
- National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs