Not just for kids: Adults need to get current immunizations, too

It’s back-to-school time, and parents are getting children immunized with required vaccines. However, keeping current with their own immunizations is sometimes overlooked. Many adults are unaware that vaccinations they had as children may no longer protect them against avoidable diseases – or that we have newer, more effective vaccines available for some illnesses they may never have been protected against.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Mouzoon’s 8 recommended adult immunizations

After considering a patient’s overall health and age, I usually recommend the following immunizations for vaccine-preventable illnesses:

  1. COVID vaccine. All adults should have had two primary doses of this vaccine and a booster in 2022. If you are immunocompromised or over age 65, you should have a total of four doses by now. If you have not been vaccinated due to concerns about mRNA vaccine technology, Novavax is now available and was developed using traditional methods.
  2. Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, with a booster shot every 10 years. The CDC recommends children and adults be vaccinated for pertussis, especially those in contact with newborns.
  3. Hepatitis A and B vaccines for adults with immune deficiencies, occupational or lifestyle exposure risks or who travel abroad.
  4. Gardasil 9 vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) is recommended for both genders ages 9 through 26 years and selected adults up to age 45. (It replaced Gardasil 4.)
  5. Measles (MMR) shots (two doses) if born after 1957.
  6. Pneumonia shots are especially important for smokers or those with chronic health problems such as diabetes or asthma, and those older than 65.
  7. Shingrix, the newer, more effective shingles vaccine is recommended for healthy adults 50 and older, even those who have received Zostavax in the past.
  8. Seasonal flu shot every year.

Immunizations are a primary component of your healthcare. Get a checkup that includes getting current with recommended vaccinations. If you are pregnant or planning to be or immunocompromised, the physician will follow guidelines specific to your condition.

BY MELANIE MOUZOON, MD, FAAP, FABM
Managing Physician for Immunization Practices
Kelsey-Seybold Clinic