Vaccines and Boosters Every Adult Should Have

Vaccines build up your body’s immunity to a disease. Without vaccines, you’re at risk for catching a disease and spreading it to others. Since some diseases spread before they cause symptoms, you could be infected and remain unaware of your condition. This could put your family, friends, coworkers, and virtually anyone with whom you interact at risk for infection.

With so many vaccine options, it can be confusing to know which ones you require. Preventive care specialist Lily Phillips, MD, and the staff of Grace Family Health in Murrieta, Temecula, and Menifee, California, provide expert vaccine advice for patients of all ages. Based on your age, medical history, health condition, and lifestyle, Dr. Phillips recommends the vaccines that provide the highest level of comprehensive protection for your needs.

Read on to find out more about the wide range of available vaccines and whether you’re missing out on important protection based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough (Tdap) vaccine

The CDC recommends that everyone receive a Tdap vaccine during their lifetime. Women should receive a new dose during each pregnancy. The original vaccine doesn’t provide lifetime immunity against these diseases, so you need a Td or Tdap booster every 10 years. 

Since pertussis can resemble a cold, you could put an infant at risk without knowing it if you’re not properly vaccinated. Most pertussis deaths occur in infants younger than six months when they’re too young to be fully immunized and can catch the disease from adults. CDC recommendations advise adults to get a Tdap vaccine or booster at least two weeks before coming in close contact with an infant, so you’ll have time to develop immunity.

Influenza vaccine

The components of the influenza vaccine change every year to provide the best protection against the most current viruses, so you need to get a new flu shot annually. The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to develop immunity, so you should receive a flu shot in late summer or early fall before the flu virus becomes widespread.

Pneumococcal vaccine

If you’re age 65 or older, you should receive both of the two types of available pneumococcal vaccines. Adults younger than 65 who have one of several health conditions, such as the absence of a functioning spleen, heart disease, or chronic lung disease, may also require this vaccine.

Different types of pneumococcal disease cause infections in different parts of your body. Some of the most dangerous places pneumococcal disease affects include your lungs (pneumococcal pneumonia), your brain and spinal cord (pneumococcal meningitis), and your blood (bacteremia).

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, known as PCV13, provides protection from 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria. The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or PPSV23, protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. If you want both vaccines, the CDC recommends getting PCV13 first then PPSV23.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine

Females and males age 26 or younger should receive a one-time series of two or three doses over a six-month period. Adults age 27-45 may receive the HPV vaccine upon the recommendation of a healthcare provider.

Shingles (Zoster) vaccine

If you're age 50 and older, you should receive this vaccine even if you had the disease or received the previous shingles vaccine, called Zostavax®. The current zoster vaccine is administered in two doses, between two to six months apart.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine

You should receive at least one dose of the MMR vaccine if you were born in the United States in 1957 or later. Healthcare workers, those traveling internationally, and college students may require a second dose.

Chickenpox (Varicella) vaccine

You should get the chickenpox vaccine if you were born in the United States in 1980 or later and haven't received two doses of the chickenpox vaccine or never had chickenpox. The vaccine is administered in a one-time series of two doses.

Other vaccines

Adults with certain risk factors may require vaccines for Hepatitis A (HepA), Hepatitis B (HepB), and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

Adults age 21 or younger and first-year college students living in a residence hall who were never vaccinated or vaccinated before age 16 should receive Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY). International travelers may have to get several vaccines, depending on their destination.

You can discuss your needs for vaccination during a preventive medicine appointment with our staff at Grace Family Health. We can recommend the right combination for your health and lifestyle. 

Call or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at the Grace Family Health location most convenient for you.

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