Immunizations: What To Get and When

vaccinationAugust is National Immunization Awareness Month. Ask your health care professional about which vaccines are right for you and be sure that your immunizations are up to date. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:

Flu Vaccine: All persons aged 6 months and older are recommended for annual vaccination. Flu vaccine is especially important for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, and older adults.

Tetanus Vaccine: You should get a Td (tetanus-diphtheria) vaccine booster every 10 years. You also need one dose of Tdap vaccine – Tdap is similar to Td but also contains protection against pertussis (whooping cough). Expectant mothers should receive Tdap during each pregnancy, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks. Those who have or anticipate having close contact with an infant aged less than 12 months should receive a single dose of Tdap.

Shingles Vaccine: You should get shingles vaccine if you are age 60 years or older, even if you have had shingles before.

Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine: You should get HPV vaccine – a series of three shots – if you are a woman through age 26 years or a man through age 21 years of age.

Pneumococcal Vaccine: The CDC recommends two pneumococcal vaccines for adults 65 years or older. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV13 or Prevnar 13®, is currently recommended for all adults 65 years or older, and people 6 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions. Pneumovax® (PPSV23) is currently recommended for use in all adults 65 years or older and in adults 19 through 64 years old with chronic heart disease, chronic lung disease, chronic liver disease, alcoholism, smoking history, or diabetes mellitus.

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