Vaccines for adults

The shots we got as kids boosted our immunity to many diseases. But that immunity wears off as we age. Plus, some diseases are more likely to cause problems for us the older we get.

What shots do you need

Your annual wellness visit is a good time to talk with your doctor about vaccines. The doctor can tell you what you need based on your age, health condition, job, lifestyle, and travel habits.

Group of friends smiling

You can’t afford to get sick.

You have a busy life and too much responsibility to risk getting sick. Vaccines can help you stay healthy so you don’t miss work. If you can avoid getting sick, you will have more time for your family, friends, and hobbies.

Getting recommended vaccines can give you some peace of mind. You will have the best possible protection available against a number of serious diseases.

There are at least two vaccines that all adults should get.

  • An annual flu vaccine.
  • Td or Tdap for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (every ten years).

About the COVID-19 vaccination

  • It is fast and easy.
  • The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status (check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] for the current status).
  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from COVID-19, especially severe illness and death. COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated, you can participate in more activities without risk of spreading the virus.
  • Visit our COVID-19 resource page for more information.

If you’re over 50, your doctor might recommend the shingles vaccine

Each year, 1 million Americans get shingles—an illness that causes a painful, blistering rash and affects people differently. Some develop severe nerve pain that continues long after the rash clears up. Serious complications like blindness can occur.

The risk of getting shingles and developing serious complications increases with age. That’s why the CDC recommends healthy adults age 50 and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine.

Take a look at our preventive healthcare schedule which includes suggested vaccines for adults.

Where to get vaccines

Your doctor’s office isn’t the only option. Many pharmacies, workplaces, community health clinics, health departments, and even schools and churches provide vaccinations.

Let your primary doctor know if you get a vaccine outside of their office so your health record is up to date.

Why get vaccines

In short, they can protect against vaccine-preventable adult diseases. Check out these U.S. statistics from the CDC:

  • 700,000 to 1.4 million people suffer from chronic hepatitis B, with complications like liver cancer.
  • About 320,000 people get pneumococcal pneumonia every year, leading to over 150,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths, mostly among the elderly.
  • Every year, 27,000 cancers in women and men are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). About 4,000 women die from resulting cervical cancer.
  • Since 2010, the flu has led to between 140,000 and 710,000 hospital stays. And from 12,000 to 56,000 deaths.

Vaccines are the safest and most effective ways to protect your health

They go through strict testing before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves them for use. But monitoring doesn’t stop there. The CDC and the FDA continue to track the safety of all immunizations.

Talk with your doctor about the vaccines you should receive based on your health and lifestyle.

Interested in health and wellness information? Visit the Capital Journal for more articles.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The information provided is meant for a general audience. Capital Blue Cross and its affiliated companies believe this health education resource provides useful information but does not assume any liability associated with its use.