Living Well

Essential Immunizations for Adults

Essential Immunizations for Adults

You want to pass on certain things like family traditions, a grandmother’s quilt or dad’s love of books—but no one wants to pass on a serious illness. Take charge of your health and help protect those around you by asking about vaccines at your next doctor’s visit.

female physician speaking with female patient

Vaccines

Vaccinating our children is commonplace in the United States. But many adults don’t know which vaccines they need, and even fewer are fully vaccinated. Every year, thousands of adults in the U.S. become needlessly ill from infectious diseases. Many adults are hospitalized and some even die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.

Not only can vaccine-preventable diseases make you very sick, but if you get sick, you may risk spreading certain diseases to others. That’s a risk most of us do not want to take.

woman blowing her nose

Babies, older adults and people with weakened immune systems (like those undergoing cancer treatment) are especially vulnerable to infectious diseases. They are also more likely to have severe illness and complications if they do get sick.

You can help protect your health and the health of your loved ones by getting your recommended vaccines.

Older female physician administering vaccine to young african american male

The good news is that getting vaccinated is easier than you think. Adults can get vaccinated at their primary care doctor’s officepharmacies, workplaces, health clinics and health departments.

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of recommended vaccines—a call to your insurance provider can give you the details.

Older woman on the phone, with laptop

What vaccines do you need?

All adults should get:

  • Annual flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu
  • Td/Tdap to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough)

Some additional vaccines you may need (depending on your age, health conditions and other factors) include:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Shingles

people at airport

Traveling overseas?

There may be additional vaccines you need depending on the location. Find out here. 

Man looking at laptop

Still not sure what vaccines you may need?

Take this short quiz.