6 Vaccines You’re Still Eligible to Receive as an Adult and Why You Should

Shots — they're not just for kids.

Measles vaccination
Do you need a measles booster shot? (Flickr.)

Even if your parents dragged you to the pediatrician to get your vaccinations early in life, there are many that wear off, require boosters and newer ones available today that can protect you and those around you.

“What makes vaccines unique is that they protect the person who is vaccinated as well as the community in which they live,” Bruce Gellin, the president of global immunization at Sabin Vaccine Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes vaccine development, told HuffPost. “…We’re encouraged that the research community is developing vaccines that will prevent serious infectious diseases like pneumonia across the lifespan.”

The first vaccination that all adults should have is the HPV vaccine for the human papillomavirus and a lower risk of cervical cancer and genital warts. Previously, the vaccine was recommended for teens and adults up to the age of 26, but the FDA recently expanded that recommendation to include everyone up to age 45.

Next is Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whopping cough). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get this vaccine if they didn’t in adolescence, and then follow it with a booster shot every 10 years, HuffPost reported.

For adults over 50, the CDC recommends protecting against shingles with a vaccination called Shingrix, which is more than 90% effective.

The CDC also recommends pneumococcal vaccines, which help protect against pneumonia and meningitis, for adults 65 and up, as well as in younger adults with certain medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease that put them at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill.

Everyone — young, old and in between — should be vaccinated against the flu every single year. The influenza virus changes regularly, so it’s important to get a flu shot each year to have up-to-date immunization against the most common strains predicted for any given year.

Finally, if you’re traveling out of the country, many “may benefit from typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, cholera and yellow fever vaccinations depending on the location of their travel,” Amesh Adalja, a physician and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told HuffPost.

Visit the CDC’s travel destinations page to find detailed information regarding the required and recommended immunizations for most countries.

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