Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone, starting at 6 months into adulthood.  Depending on your age and other factors (existing medical conditions, past doses of a specific vaccine), you may or may not need to receive the following vaccinations.

Age 27-49

Influenza (Flu)

Even as an adult, annual flu immunization is recommended every fall or winter (the season is typically between September and January).

Tetanus

The CDC recommends that you should receive one dose of Tdap between age 11 to 18 (preferably at age 11-12 years) and then once again between ages 19 and 64. Following the initial dose, a booster shot is recommended every 10 years, or after exposure to tetanus in some cases. For a while now, typical booster shots were one dose of Td (which only protects against tetanus and diphtheria. However, new evidence shows that pertussis is actually on the rise because of waning vaccine efficacy among adults. For this reason, some medical professionals are recommending a full Tdap booster every 10 years.

*What the letters mean:  DTaP, Tdap, and Td are all similar vaccinations given for the same diseases at various times in a person’s life. Depending on age, certain amounts of each of the vaccine’s components are administered. The lettering system and upper/lower cases denote the component of the vaccination and the amount that’s included within. As the CDC explains, Upper-case letters in these abbreviations denote full-strength doses of diphtheria (D) and tetanus (T) toxoids and pertussis (P) vaccine. Lower-case “d” and “p” denote reduced doses of diphtheria and pertussis used in the adolescent/adult-formulations. The “a” in DTaP and Tdap stands for “acellular,” meaning that the pertussis component contains only a part of the pertussis organism.”

Varicella (Chickenpox)

You may want to consider vaccination if you never received it as a child. Your doctor will help you determine if you need to get the vaccine.

MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella)

If you were born in 1957 or later, you need at least one dose. Consult with your doctor to determine if you need a second dose as well.

Pneumococcal

Protects against pneumococcal disease (an infection caused by the bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae). If you’re a smoker or have certain chronic conditions, it’s recommended that you get one to two doses.

HepB

HepB vaccine is given in three doses, over 6 months, for at-risk individuals for hepatitis B or for people who want to be protected.

HepA

HepA vaccine is generally given in two doses, 6 to 18 months apart, for at-risk individuals for hepatitis A or for people who want to be protected.

Age 50-59

Influenza (Flu)

Recommended once per year.

Tetanus

The CDC recommends that you should receive one dose of Tdap between age 11 to 18 (preferably at age 11-12 years) and then once again between ages 19 and 64. Following the initial dose, a booster shot is recommended every 10 years, or after exposure to tetanus in some cases. For a while now, typical booster shots were one dose of Td (which only protects against tetanus and diphtheria. However, new evidence shows that pertussis is actually on the rise because of waning vaccine efficacy among adults. For this reason, some medical professionals are recommending a full Tdap booster every 10 years.

*What the letters mean:  DTaP, Tdap, and Td are all similar vaccinations given for the same diseases at various times in a person’s life. Depending on age, certain amounts of each of the vaccine’s components are administered. The lettering system and upper/lower cases denote the component of the vaccination and the amount that’s included within. As the CDC explains, Upper-case letters in these abbreviations denote full-strength doses of diphtheria (D) and tetanus (T) toxoids and pertussis (P) vaccine. Lower-case “d” and “p” denote reduced doses of diphtheria and pertussis used in the adolescent/adult-formulations. The “a” in DTaP and Tdap stands for “acellular,” meaning that the pertussis component contains only a part of the pertussis organism.”

HepB

HepB vaccine is given in three doses, over 6 months, for at-risk individuals for hepatitis B or for people who want to be protected.

HepA

HepA vaccine is generally given in two doses, 6 to 18 months apart, for at-risk individuals for hepatitis A or for people who want to be protected.

Meningococcal

Booster shots may be required through adulthood, and can be determined by speaking with your doctor.

Age 60 and Older

The vaccines aimed at an older population include those for flu and shingles, because this group is more likely to have weaker immune systems.

Influenza

Recommended once per year.

Tetanus

The CDC recommends that you should receive one dose of Tdap between age 11 to 18 (preferably at age 11-12 years) and then once again between ages 19 and 64. Following the initial dose, a booster shot is recommended every 10 years, or after exposure to tetanus in some cases. For a while now, typical booster shots were one dose of Td (which only protects against tetanus and diphtheria. However, new evidence shows that pertussis is actually on the rise because of waning vaccine efficacy among adults. For this reason, some medical professionals are recommending a full Tdap booster every 10 years.

*What the letters mean:  DTaP, Tdap, and Td are all similar vaccinations given for the same diseases at various times in a person’s life. Depending on age, certain amounts of each of the vaccine’s components are administered. The lettering system and upper/lower cases denote the component of the vaccination and the amount that’s included within. As the CDC explains, Upper-case letters in these abbreviations denote full-strength doses of diphtheria (D) and tetanus (T) toxoids and pertussis (P) vaccine. Lower-case “d” and “p” denote reduced doses of diphtheria and pertussis used in the adolescent/adult-formulations. The “a” in DTaP and Tdap stands for “acellular,” meaning that the pertussis component contains only a part of the pertussis organism.”

In 2011, Boostrix became the first Tdap vaccine approved for adults over the age of 65.

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Caused by the same virus that leads to chickenpox (varicella zoster virus), shingles develops in about one out of three people in the United States, according to the CDC. The one-time vaccine is recommended for adults over age 60—even if you had the chickenpox as a child. A case of childhood chickenpox can re-emerge many years later in adulthood, due to the virus remaining dormant in your body. Also, certain individuals are more at risk for developing shingles, such as people with medical conditions that compromise the immune system, including:

  • cancer
  • leukemia
  • lymphoma
  • AIDS

Other risk factors include:

  • use of steroids or immunosuppressive drugs

Pneumococcal

If you’re 65 or older, it’s recommended that you get one dose.

HepB

HepB vaccine is given in three doses, over 6 months, for at-risk individuals for hepatitis B or for people who want to be protected.

HepA

HepA vaccine is generally given in two doses, 6 to 18 months apart, for at-risk individuals for hepatitis A or for people who want to be protected.

Meningococcal

Although recommended for college students planning to live in a dormitory, this vaccine is recommended for individuals with certain medical conditions as well. Additionally, booster shots may be required through adulthood and can be determined by speaking with your doctor.