Vaccines & do you need them?
Hepatitis A (HepA)
Maybe. You need this vaccine if you have a specific risk factor for hepatitis A virus infection* or simply want to be protected from this disease. The vaccine is usually given in 2 doses, 6–18 months apart.
Hepatitis B (HepB)
Maybe. You need this vaccine if you have a specific risk factor for hepatitis B virus infection* or simply want to be protected from this disease. The vaccine is given in 3 doses, usually over 6 months.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Maybe. You need this vaccine if you are a woman age 26 years or younger or a man age 21 years or younger. Men age 22 through 26 years with a risk condition* also need vaccination. Any other man age 22 through 26 who wants to be protected from HPV may receive it, too. The vaccine is given in 3 doses over 6 months.
Yes! You need a dose every fall (or winter) for your protection and for the protection of others around you.
Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
Maybe. You need at least 1 dose of MMR if you were born in 1957 or later. You may also need a 2nd dose.*
Meningococcal (MCV4, MPSV4)
Maybe. You need this vaccine if you have one of several health conditions, or if you are 19–21 and a first-year college student living in a residence hall and you either have never been vaccinated or were vaccinated before age 16.* †
Pneumococcal (PPSV23, PCV13)
Maybe. You need 1 dose of PPSV23 at age 65 years (or older) if you’ve never been vaccinated or you were previously vaccinated at least 5 years ago when you were younger than age 65 years. You also need 1–2 doses if you smoke cigarettes or have certain chronic health conditions. Some adults with certain high-risk conditions also need vaccination with PCV13. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you need this vaccine.* †
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Whooping cough (Pertussis) (Tdap, Td)
Yes! All adults who have not yet received a dose of Tdap, as an adolescent or adult, need to get Tdap vaccine (the adult whooping cough vaccine). And, all women need to get a dose during each pregnancy. After that, you need a Td booster dose every 10 years. Consult your healthcare provider if you haven’t had at least 3 tetanus- and diphtheria-containing shots sometime in your life or have a deep or dirty wound.
Maybe. If you’ve never had chickenpox or were vaccinated but received only 1 dose, talk to your health-care provider to find out if you need this vaccine.*
Maybe. If you are age 60 years or older, you should get a 1-time dose of this vaccine now.
Maybe. Some adults with certain high-risk conditions need vaccination with Hib. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you need this vaccine.* †
* Consult your healthcare provider to determine your level of risk for infection and your need for this vaccine.
† People who lack a spleen need this vaccine.
If you don’t have health insurance, free or low-cost vaccine is available.
Preteens need vaccines too!
Call to schedule your child’s preteen doctor visit today!
Remember to bring your child’s immunization record card. The preteen doctor visit is key to a healthy start for adolescence. It’s also the perfect opportunity to discuss ways to stay healthy, such as eating right, being active, and standing up to peer pressure. The doctor will also recommend immunizations to protect your child from some serious diseases. Some immunizations help strengthen your child’s baby shots and others are specifically for preteens. If you are concerned about the cost of shots, free or low cost immunizations are available. Talk to your doctor or clinic.
Shots for 11- to 12-year-olds:
- 2 shots needed for 7-12th grade
- For those who have never had chickenpox disease
- For those who have not already had two doses
- Why? Teens can be much sicker with chickenpox
- 3 shots needed for 7 -12th grade
- For those who have not already received this series of 3 shots
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- 2 MMR shots needed for 7-12th grade
- For those who only received 1 shot previously
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap)
- 1 shot needed for 7-12th grade
- For preteens instead of the Td booster
- Tdap vaccine also protects against whooping cough
- Needed for 7-12th grade
- For preteens before they go into 7th grade (and then a booster shot at age 16)
- Protects against 3 of the 4 most common types of meningitis
HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Not required by law but highly recommended
- For girls and boys starting around 11 years of age
- This vaccine, given in a series of 3 shots, prevents most cervical cancer and certain types of anal cancer, vaginal cancers, and possibly mouth and throat cancers
- Not required by law but highly recommended
- Protects against flu (given each year)
Help your preteen stay calm during shots:
Encourage your preteen to:
- Bring along his/her favorite music
- Remember to breathe-take slow, deep breaths
- Make eye contact with you or another supportive person
- Close his/her eyes and think of a favorite place or activity
- Focus on something in the room, like a poster
- Tell you about a fun upcoming activity
- Remember that getting shots may sting a little, but it’s much better than getting sick
Vaccinate older teens too!
Several newer vaccines (Tdap, MCV, and HPV) may not have been available when your older kids were preteens. Check with your doctor or clinic to see if they need to catch up on their shots.
Adults need vaccines too!
Your need for immunizations doesn’t end when you reach adulthood. You’re never too old to get immunized! Getting immunized is a lifelong, life-protecting job. Each time you visit your health care provider, ask what vaccines you might need.
Vaccines for all adults:
- Influenza: All adults should get flu vaccine every year.
- Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap): Every adult should get one dose of Tdap vaccine. Then, every 10 years after that, get a Td (tetanus-diphtheria) vaccine. Pregnant women should get a dose of Tdap during every pregnancy, even if they’ve had it before.
- Varicella (chickenpox): Every adult who has never had chickenpox and has never been vaccinated against varicella should get two doses of varicella vaccine.
Vaccines for adults at certain ages:
- Meningococcal: Through age 21, if a first-year college student living in a residence hall.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV): For all women through age 26, all men through age 21, and certain men through age 26 – those who have compromised immune systems or who have sex with other men.
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR): If born in 1957 or later. Most adults only need one dose of MMR. Those going to school, travelers, and health care workers need two doses.
- Zoster (shingles): For those age 60 and up.
- Pneumococcal: Everyone age 65 and up, even if you had a dose previously.
Vaccines for adults with certain medical conditions or special situations:
- Pneumococcal: For people who have diabetes; lung, heart, or liver disease (including alcoholism); immune suppression; asplenia; or cochlear implants. Also for smokers and those living in long-term care facilities.
- Meningococcal: For people who have asplenia or certain chronic immune defects. Also for microbiologists with occupational exposure.
- Hepatitis A: For people with chronic liver disease or clotting factor disorders. Also for men who have sex with men (MSM) and close contacts of newly arriving intemational adoptees.
- Hepatitis B: For people with chronic liver disease, diabetes. clotting factor disorders, HIV or another sexually transmitted infection, or are on dialysis. Also for MSM, health care workers, and developmental disability workers.
Vaccines for travelers:
If you’re traveling outside the United States, you may need to be vaccinated against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, MMR, influenza, meningococcal disease, yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, or Japanese encephalitis.
Allow several weeks before your trip because some vaccines require more than one dose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information to assist travelers and their healthcare providers in deciding which vaccines, medications, and other measures are necessary to prevent illness and injury during international travel.
- Visit CDC’s website
- or call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).
- You may also consult a travel clinic or your healthcare provider.