The Friedman Blog

Posted on 02/24/2012, by Jeremy Edsall

Adults Need Shots Too

Each year the U.S. recommended immunization schedule for adults is reviewed by scientific and medical experts who examine research on effective control of vaccine-preventable diseases. Changes in the 2012 recommendations reflect research that shows the best way to protect you and young, vulnerable children around you.

Take a look at the following updates; one or more may apply to you.

Hepatitis B Vaccination

Adults recently diagnosed with diabetes who are younger than 60 years old are now recommended to receive the hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible.

HPV Vaccine

Males 22 through 26 years of age whose immune systems are weakened, who have sex with men, or who test positive for HIV, are now recommended to receive the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine. The HPV4 vaccine is also recommended for all boys at age 11 or 12 and catch-up vaccinations for males age 13 through 21 years.

Influenza Vaccine

A yearly flu vaccination is still recommended for everyone six months of age and older, but especially for seniors over 65, pregnant women, and those with health conditions like diabetes, asthma or heart disease. These groups are at high risk for serious flu-related complications.

Donating Blood Soon?

If you've recently received a vaccine, you may be asked to wait to give blood. The waiting period varies, depending on the vaccine.

Pneumoccocal Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced the approval of Prevnar 13, a pneumococcal vaccine, for use in adults age 50 years and older. Although CDC recommends that those age 65 and older and those age 19 through 64 with certain health conditions get another pneumococcal vaccine called Pneumovax, CDC has not issued any formal recommendation concerning Prevnar 13. Talk with your doctor if you have questions.

Tdap and Td Vaccine

  • The Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine is now recommended for women in the third or late second trimester (20th week or more) of their pregnancy. 
  • Tdap is recommended for all those who are close contacts of infants younger than 12 months of age – for example, parents, guardians, grandparents, babysitters, nannies, teachers, and those who have not previously received the Tdap vaccine.
  • Other adults, who are not close contacts of children younger than 12 months of age, are still recommended to receive a one-time dose of the Tdap vaccine. After your initial dose of Tdap, you’ll need the Td booster every 10 years. But you don’t need to wait to get the Tdap vaccine if you have recently been vaccinated with the Td booster.

Zoster (Shingles) Vaccine

The FDA recently approved the use of zoster vaccine in those 50 years old; however, CDC continues to recommend that vaccination for shingles begin at age 60.

Do You Need Other Vaccines?

Throughout your adult life, you need immunizations to get and maintain protection against other vaccine-preventable diseases such as shingles, seasonal flu, pneumococcal disease, and human papillomavirus.  If you are going to travel internationally, you might need other vaccines. Visit for more information.


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