All adults can benefit from receiving certain vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, every adult needs a flu vaccination each year. The CDC also says all adults who did not receive a Tdap vaccine as an adolescent should receive a vaccine to protect against pertussis, also known as whooping cough. They should also get a Td booster shot once every ten years to protect against tetanus and diphtheria. Additionally, all women should receive a Tdap vaccine every time they get pregnant, preferably when they are 27 to 36 weeks along.
Adults can benefit from other vaccinations as well, depending on age, lifestyle, health conditions, international travel, jobs and vaccination history. People over the age of 18 should receive a vaccine protecting against chickenpox. Those aged 19 to 55 should receive an MMR vaccination to protect against measles, mumps and rubella. Men and women should receive protection from HPV, the human papillomavirus.
Adults over the age of 60 should receive a vaccine for shingles. Persons aged 65 and older should get a pneumococcal vaccine that protects against bacterial infection that can cause a variety of illnesses, including ear and sinus infections, pneumonia and bloodstream infections.
In some cases, an adult should not receive a particular vaccine. A pregnant woman or person with a weakened immune system or HIV, for example, should not get the shingles vaccine, MMR or chickenpox vaccine. A doctor or healthcare professional can help adults determine which vaccines they need to avoid contracting or spreading contagious illnesses and maintain good health.
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