Adult Immunizations – What You Need to Know

For most of us, when it comes to immunizations and vaccines, we think mostly in terms of childhood immunizations and some shots that are mandatorily required for travel to certain foreign countries.

However adult immunizations are also an important issue that should be decided based on one’s age, health status, and medical history.


The fact is that some adults require to be immunized because they were never immunized as children.

Also, since medical science is developing constantly, many more vaccines may be available to adults that were never available to them as children.

Moreover, immunity can fade over some extended period, and may have to be renewed.

Further there are certain vaccines that are meant for adults, such as the HPV vaccine that protects not only against the HPV virus but also against cervical cancer.

Another reason to consider adult vaccinations is that the risk of certain diseases or infections such as flu, pneumococcus and so on actually rises with advancing age.

The schedule for adult vaccinations recommended by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is as given below:

  • The influenza vaccine should be for all adults, regardless of age – administered in the fall or winter, this will protect the individual and others around
  • Pneumococcal vaccine will need two doses for smokers and those with certain medical conditions
  • The Hepatitis B vaccine is given in 3 doses over 6 months
  • The Hepatitis A vaccine is given in 2 doses, 6 to 18 months apart
  • The HPV vaccine is given to people younger than 26 years in 3 doses over 6 months
  • Measles mumps and rubella (MMR) is a single dose but may need a second dose
  • Requirement for Chickenpox or varicella vaccine should be discussed with the doctor
  • Meningococcal vaccine
  • Zoster (shingles) vaccine is particularly important for people over the age of 60