What Vaccines Do I Need? Recommended Vaccines for Adults

By: Women's Care Staff

You do your best to lead a healthy life. You exercise regularly, eat a well-balanced diet, and get a good night’s sleep. Also, you don’t smoke, drink excessively, or let stress get the best of you. Furthermore, you feel you protect your health well. However, you might be missing the recommended vaccines for adults.

The importance of vaccines for adults

According to a 2016 release put out by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

“80% of adults ages 19 and older have not received recommended vaccinations to protect them against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). More than 70 percent of adults ages 60 and older have not received recommended shingles vaccinations.”

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases states that 50,000 adults die annually from vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. This surpasses the number of adult deaths caused by breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, or traffic accidents. According to a recent survey put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“The prevalence of illness attributable to vaccine-preventable diseases is greater among adults than among children.”

Why some adults don’t vaccinate

We emphasize childhood vaccine importance. However, these findings may still surprise you. Moreover, the CDC offers a number of factors that contribute to low awareness among adults. These include limited public awareness and a lack of health insurance. In addition, patients tend to seek care when sick rather than focus on preventative care. Furthermore, a lot of misinformation on vaccines exist. Despite the fact that studies support vaccine safety, adults still don’t trust them.

Adult immunizations

Most adults know that doctors strongly recommend the flu vaccine annually. However, many don’t realize other adult immunizations exist. These depend on age, health conditions, and other factors. For example, everyone should consider protection against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and shingles. Also, depending on your childhood vaccinations, you may need immunization against HPV, chickenpox, and other diseases.

Below is a list of recommended vaccines for adults. However, for a full list and a schedule on when to take them, contact your primary care doctor.

  • Influenza vaccination
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Td/Tdap) vaccination
  • Varicella vaccination
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination
  • Zoster vaccination
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) vaccination
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23) vaccination
  • Revaccination with PPSV23
  • Meningococcal vaccination
  • Hepatitis A vaccination
  • Hepatitis B vaccination
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccination

Reasons to get vaccinated

You may still feel uncertain about the necessity of immunizations. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases offers ten very good reasons why you should be vaccinated:

  1. Vaccine-preventable diseases haven’t gone away.
  2. Vaccines will help keep you healthy.
  3. Vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise.
  4. Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death.
  5. Vaccines are safe.
  6. Vaccines won’t give you the disease they are designed to prevent.
  7. Young and healthy people can get very sick, too.
  8. Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive.
  9. When you get sick, your children, grandchildren, and parents are at risk, too.
  10. Your family and coworkers need you.

For all of these reasons, Women’s Care strongly encourages you to speak with your OB/GYN about recommended immunizations with regard to your health history. Also, you may even be able to receive needed vaccinations at your next annual exam or scheduled visit. Find a Women’s Care OB/GYN near you.

To learn more about each of the vaccinations, visit our immunization page.

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