Working For Your Health


Adult Vaccines: What You Need & What You Don’t

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 17:37:42-04

ORLANDO, Fla. — As we all wait for a Coronavirus vaccine, there are some other vaccines you need to be aware of. Did you know childhood vaccines wear off over time, so adults should keep up to date on them? Around 45,000 adults die every year in the U.S. from vaccine-preventable diseases. Find out what vaccines you do and don’t need.

Babies are what we think of when we think of getting vaccines … but just because you’re older, doesn’t mean you don’t need them. “If you get vaccinated, you’re not only protecting yourself, but you’re protecting everyone else around you and it can be life-saving,” said Dr. Lela Mansoori, MD, an Endocrinologist at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center.

The CDC recommends an annual flu shot, not the nasal spray, for adults 50 and older, while every ten years, a tetanus and diphtheria booster is needed. And don’t forget, two doses of the shingles vaccine are recommended.

“The efficacy is over 90 percent, in fact, over 95 percent in some cases for almost all age groups, even those over the age of 80, where it’s been tested,” said Dr. Sankar Swaminathan, MD, an Infectious Disease expert at the University of Utah.

The pneumococcal vaccine is for those age 65 and older, which help prevent pneumonia, meningitis and blood infections. If you’re an avid traveler, hepatitis A vaccine can help in high-risk areas. For adults up to age 26, the HPV vaccine can protect against several cancers.

The CDC advises certain individuals not to get specific vaccines because different vaccines have different components. They are advised to wait if they have a compromised immune system, and people who have experienced allergic reactions to a particular vaccine are generally told to avoid follow-up doses.