It is back to school week for a lot of kids. So, immunizations might be on a lot of minds of parents. Now is the time to check with your pediatricians to make sure that your children are up-to-date on all required immunizations for school – as well as the ones not required.

But vaccinations are not just for children as we often forget that adults need to keep their vaccinations up-to-date as well.

The protection vaccines provide can wear off over time. Adults are at risk for different diseases than children. Individuals may need other vaccines based on age, health conditions, job, lifestyle or travel habits.

Here are four suggested vaccines adults should make sure they are up-to-date on:

  • Pneumococcal: A new pneumococcal vaccine has been released for people aged 65 and older who haven’t been vaccinated, or under 65 and immunocompromised or with a chronic condition that puts them at risk for pneumonia (such as asthma or smoking). The pneumococcal vaccine can prevent some cases of pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis.
  • Influenza: Seasonal flu vaccine is right around the corner and generally available in early fall. It’s recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. See your provider for the version that is best for you.
  • Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for ALL adults – just like it is for all kids. This vaccine protects against liver cancer and liver disease. Two thirds of those who get Hepatitis B don’t have a known risk factor for it, but can develop a serious infection if not protected.
  • Zoster: The Zoster shingles vaccine has been recommended for people aged 50 and older. Now it is recommended for those 19-49 who are immunocompromised. Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Anyone who has had chickenpox may develop shingles.

Another vaccine we need to keep on our radar is COVID. New versions of this vaccine are coming soon. For those who have been vaccinated, boosters targeting more recent variants are being studied.

Many vaccines are covered by health insurance as part of a preventive visit. Your doctor can help you decide which vaccines you may need, or you can consult with your local health department. 

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