Info for Adults: Vaccines—Know what you need

Information Series for Adults

Vaccines: Know what you need

Vaccines prevent diseases that can be very serious. All adults need vaccines to help protect themselves and others. The vaccines recommended for you are based on your age, health condition, job, lifestyle, or travel habits.

Take a look at this Adult Vaccines poster.

Don’t Wait. Vaccinate.

Immunization is one of the safest and most effective ways to protect your health. Vaccine side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Severe side effects are very rare.

Talk to your healthcare professional about which vaccines are right for you!

Vaccines you may need based on your age:


WHO? All adults 65 years or older should get one dose of PPSV23 (polysaccharide vaccine). Adults 65 years or older who have never received a dose can discuss and decide, with their vaccine provider, to get one dose of PCV13 (conjugate vaccine).
HOW OFTEN? If someone wants both vaccines, get PCV13 first followed by PPSV23.

Shingles (Zoster)

WHO? Adults 50 and older, including adults who have had shingles or got the previous shingles vaccine (Zostavax)
HOW OFTEN? Two doses, 2 to 6 months apart

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Recommended if you haven’t received the full series
WHO? Females and males 26 or younger
HOW OFTEN? One time series of two or three doses

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)*

Recommended as a catch up if you didn’t receive as a child
WHO? Adults born in the United States in 1957 or later who have not received MMR vaccine, or who had lab tests that showed they are not immune to measles, mumps, and rubella
HOW OFTEN? One time for most adults; however, certain people, such as college students, international travelers, or healthcare professionals, should get two doses

Chickenpox (Varicella)*

Recommended as a catch up if you didn’t receive as a child
WHO? Adults born in the United States in 1980 or later who have not received two doses of chickenpox vaccine or never had chickenpox
HOW OFTEN? One time series of two doses

Vaccines recommended for everyone:

Influenza vaccine every year during flu season, including pregnant women during any trimester.
Tdap vaccine one time, no matter when you got your last tetanus (Td) vaccine. Pregnant women also need Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy.
Tdap or Td booster every 10 years.

Adult Health Topics