VACCINES ADULTS NEED

The following vaccines are recommended for adults 18 years and older:

Click on each vaccine for more information.

FLU (INFLUENZA)

Influenza, or the flu, is a highly contagious virus. It can cause fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue. The flu can be deadly for people at high risk, such as children under two, the elderly, and the chronically ill. Ask your doctor if you or your children should get this vaccine.


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PNEUMOCOCCAL

Infection with pneumococcal bacteria can cause serious diseases such as meningitis–inflammation, irritation and swelling of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, bronchitis and pneumonia. Pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 12 months of age or younger and can be fatal.


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TETANUS, DIPHTHERIA, PERTUSSIS (Tdap)

There are several formulations of vaccines used to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

  • Tetanus (Lockjaw) causes painful muscle tightening, usually all over the body, and can lead to "locking" of the jaw muscles so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus kills about one out of five people who are infected.
  • Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. Diphtheria can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough) causes severe coughing spells, vomiting, and disturbed sleep. Pertussis can lead to weight loss, incontinence, rib fractures, and passing out from violent coughing.

View the Tetanus Fact Sheet
View the Diphtheria Fact Sheet
View the Pertusis (Whooping Cough) Fact Sheet
HEPATITIS A

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Symptoms include dark urine, yellow eyes or skin (jaundice), loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, or stomachache.


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HEPATITIS B

Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV can be an acute, or short-term, illness — or a chronic infection that can lead to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and death. About 1.25 million people in the U.S. have chronic HBV infection.


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HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is transmitted through sexual contact. Most people who become infected with HPV will not have any symptoms and will clear the infection on their own. The probability of getting HPV is greater if a person has sex at an early age, has many sex partners, or has a sex partner who has had many partners. There are different types of HPV. The vaccine prevents infection from the most common types of HPV. There is no cure for HPV. There are, however, treatments for health problems caused by HPV, such as genital warts, cervical changes and cervical cancer.


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MEASLES, MUMPS, RUBELLA (MMR)

MMR vaccine is used to protect individuals from mutliple diseases — measles, mumps, and rubella.

  • Measles is the most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses. The disease spreads very easily, so it is important to protect against infection.
  • Mumps is a contagious viral disease that causes fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swelling of salivary glands.
  • Rubella (or German Measles) is a viral disease that causes fever and rash for two to three days. Rubella is mild in children and young adults, but can cause very serious birth defects if a pregnant woman gets it.

View the Measles Fact Sheet
View the Mumps Fact Sheet
View the Rubella Fact Sheet
VARICELLA (CHICKENPOX)

Chickenpox is a highly contagious skin rash that looks like blisters. Chickenpox can cause coughing, sneezing, skin infections, encephalitis–inflammation, irritation and swelling of the brain and spinal cord, and pneumonia.

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MENINGOCOCCAL

Meningitis may be caused by a virus or bacterium. Viral meningitis is generally less severe while bacterial meningitis can be very severe. This disease can take one of two forms: meningitis–inflammation, irritation, and swelling of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, or the more deadly meningococcemia–infection of the blood. This disease is often deadly or can lead to loss of limbs and other very serious complications that can have lifelong effects. College freshmen living in dorms are up to six times more likely to get the disease than other people.


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ZOSTER (SHINGLES)

Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once a person has had chickenpox, the virus can live, but remain inactive, in certain nerve roots within the body. If it becomes active again, usually later in life, it can cause shingles.


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