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

It’s back-to-school time and parents and guardians are getting children immunized with required vaccines.

However, keeping current with their own adult immunizations is sometimes overlooked. Many adults are unaware that vaccinations they had as children may no longer protect them against avoidable diseases – or that physicians now have newer, more effective vaccines available for some illnesses they may never have been protected against.











Be wise and get immunized.

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

  1. COVID vaccine. Adults should have had two primary doses of this vaccine and a booster by now. If immunocompromised or older than 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. (Feel free to talk with your healthcare provider regarding concerns you may have.)
  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 are planning to 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 has 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 or older than 65.
  7. Shingrix, the newer, more effective shingles vaccine is recommended for healthy adults 50 and older, even those who received Zostavax vaccine in the past.
  8. Seasonal flu shot every year.








Immunizations are a primary component of your long-term healthcare. When getting your next checkup be sure your healthcare provider gets you current with recommended vaccinations.

If pregnant or planning to be or immunocompromised, the physician will follow guidelines specific to your condition.














Author Suma Manjunath, MD, FAAP

Published September 11, 2023