Recommended Vaccines For Adults

Regular immunizations have virtually wiped out diseases that used to cause serious problems in the general population. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommend several vaccinations for adults.

  • Tetanus/Diphtheria (also known as Td) — protects against tetanus (lockjaw) and diphtheria. The initial vaccination is a three dose series. The first dose now, the second dose four weeks later, and the third dose six to twelve months after the second. Adults also need a booster shot every ten years or so.
  • Influenza (also known as the flu shot) — a yearly vaccination to protect against the flu. Recommended for adults over 65, adults with chronic medical conditions, and adults who live or work with people who are at high risk for developing the flu.
  • Pneumococcal — suggested for adults 65 and older and adults with certain chronic illnesses.
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (also known as MMR) — this vaccine is often required in certain work and school settings or for international travel. A one dose vaccine for adults born in 1957 and later.
  • Hepatitis A — a two dose vaccination series. The first dose now and the second dose six to twelve months later. Recommended for adults at risk, including adults who travel to certain international destinations.
  • Hepatitis B — a three dose vaccination series. The first dose now, the second dose one to two months later, and the third dose four to six months after the second. Recommended for adults at risk, including adults who travel to certain international destinations.
  • Meningococcal — a one dose vaccine recommended for adults at risk and young adults attending college.

Talk to your doctor about your risk level for various diseases, and your need for a vaccine. Most adults benefit from the Tetanus/Diphtheria and Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccines; the others may be needed situationally but not across the board.

Young women may also want to consider the cervical cancer vaccine.