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Adults Need Vaccines Too!

Immunizations are not just something you need to get as a child anymore.  Instead, they are an essential part of preventative care and overall well being.

Get Immunized for a Healthier Life

Immunizations help you live a longer and healthier life.  According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):

Immunizations prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 730,000 deaths. 

What Vaccines Do Adults Need?

Vaccines that you need as an adult are determined based on age, lifestyle, health conditions, job, international travel, and any previous vaccine you have received.  Your primary care physician is well suited to help determine which vaccines are recommended. The CDC website is a great resource to find out which vaccines you need.

Before Your Next Appointment

Before coming to your next appointment take the CDC’s Adolescent & Adult Vaccine Quiz to create a customized print out of suggested vaccinations to bring with you and discuss with your primary care physician.

Immunizations are one of the safest and most effective ways to protect your health.

Vaccine side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Severe side effects are very rare as are the contraindications (reasons to advise against) to receiving vaccines.

man running outside

Common Vaccines for Adults


  • Recommended for everyone
  • Protects against the flu
  • 1 dose yearly in the fall or winter
  • Adults 65+ should receive a yearly, high dose flu vaccine

Tetanus (Td or Tdap)

  • Recommended for everyone
  • Protects against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Tdap is given 1 time and then a Td booster is given every 10 years
  • Tdap is given during each pregnancy in the third trimester, regardless of last Td/Tdap

Herpes Zoster (shingles)

  • Adults age 60+
  • Protects against shingles
  • 1-time vaccine
  • Can still get vaccine if had prior episode of shingles


  • Adults at age 65 receive 1 dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13)
  • At least 1 year after the PCV13 one dose of a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)
  • Protects against pneumococcal disease, including infections in the lungs and bloodstream
  • Some adults do need this prior to age 65 depending on health conditions and lifestyle

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Women up to age 26
  • Men up to age 21 or men age 22-26 who have sex with men
  • Protects against the human papillomaviruses that cause: cervical cancer, anal cancer, and genital warts
  • Is given in a series of 3 doses

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

  • Adults born in 1957 or later who have not received MMR vaccine should get the vaccine
  • Adults who had lab testing showing that they aren’t immune to measles, mumps, or rubella should also get the vaccine
  • Protects against all three diseases
  • One time dose for most adults
  • College students, international travelers, or healthcare professionals, should get two doses

Varicella Zoster (chickenpox)

  • Adults born in 1980 or later who have not received 2 doses of chickenpox vaccine or never had chickenpox as a child
  • Protects against chickenpox
  • Is given in a series of 2 doses

Sources: CDC and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)

About Dominick Trapani, DO

Dr. Trapani is primary care physician with WakeMed Physician Practices – Primary Care – North Raleigh. His clinical interests include: preventative medicine, chronic disease management, joint injections, and minor dermatologic procedures. Learn more about Dr. Trapani, and schedule an appointment today.