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Adult Immunization Schedule

Vaccine

How Often

Disease Prevented

Who Needs It

Influenza

Every year

Flu, which can be especially dangerous to the elderly or people with immune disorders

All adults.

Tetanus, diphtheria (Td); or Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap)*

One dose of Tdap, then one dose of Td as a booster every 10 years

Tetanus, (lockjaw), a disease that causes muscles to spasm

Diphtheria, an infection that causes fever, weakness, and breathing difficulties

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease that can cause serious illness

All adults

*This vaccine should be given during each pregnancy regardless of the number of years since prior vaccination. The vaccine increases protection for your newborn infant who is too young to get the vaccine, but at the highest risk for severe illness and death from pertussis (whooping cough).

Varicella (Var)**

One series of 2 injections

Chickenpox, a disease that causes itchy skin bumps, fever, and tiredness; can lead to scarring, pneumonia, or brain inflammation

Adults who don’t have evidence of immunity

**This vaccine should not be given to pregnant women. Women should avoid pregnancy for 4 weeks after vaccination.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

One series of 3 injections

Cervical cancer, caused by certain types of HPV

Vaginal and vulvar cancer

Penile cancer

Head and neck cancers

Anal cancer

Genital warts

Females and males age 26 and younger. Minimum age is 9 years.

(Ask your health care provider if this vaccine is right for you.)

Zoster***

1 dose

Herpes zoster (shingles), a painful rash marked by blisters

Adults age 60 and older.

***You should not get this vaccine if your immune system is low: for example, if you have HIV, are taking medications that suppress your immune system, or are getting cancer treatment.

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)**

1 or 2 doses, for ages 19 through 49; 1 dose for ages 50 or older if at risk

Measles, a disease marked by red spots, fever, and coughing

Mumps, a disease that causes swelling in the salivary glands and may affect the ovaries or testes

Rubella (German measles), a form of measles that, if caught by a pregnant woman, can cause birth defects

Adults born in 1957 or later who are not known to be immune to all three of these diseases. Ask your healthcare provider if you need a second dose.

**This vaccine should not be given to pregnant women. Women should avoid pregnancy for 4 weeks after vaccination.

Pneumococcal (PCV 13)

1 dose

Pneumonia, an infection that causes inflammation in your lungs, and can lead to death

Adults age 19 and older with weak immune systems or any of these medical conditions: chronic renal failure and/or nephrotic syndrome, functional or anatomic asplenia, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks, or cochlear implants

Pneumococcal (PPSV)

At least once, possibly more often

Pneumonia, an infection that causes inflammation in the lungs, and can lead to death.

Adults age 65 and older; adults with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, COPD, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, alcoholism, sickle cell disease, or history of splenectomy; adults with an immune disorder; adults who smoke cigarettes

Meningococcal

(MCV or MPSV)

1 or more doses

Meningococcal disease (bacterial meningitis), inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord; can result in death

Adults with immune deficiencies or high risk of exposure; college freshmen living in dormitories; military recruits.

Hepatitis A (HepA)

One series of 2 injections

Hepatitis A, an infection that can result in acute liver inflammation and jaundice (yellow skin and whites of the eyes)

Adults with risk factors, such as clotting disorders or chronic liver disease; adults with high risk of exposure

Hepatitis B (HepB)

One series of 3 injections

Hepatitis B, an infection that causes chronic, severe liver disease

Adults with high risk of exposure, such as healthcare providers and sanitation workers; adults with diabetes

Travelers’ diseases

As needed

Infections such as cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, polio, rabies, meningococcal disease, hepatitis A, hepatitis B

Adults traveling out of the country. Required immunizations will vary depending on the country you visit. Check CDC website: www.cdc.gov.

 ,

Based on the CDC National Immunization Program recommendations for adults (February, 2014).

Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/19/2014
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