Adult Vaccination: New Guidelines

New Adult Vaccination Schedule Includes Protection From Shingles

By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Michael W. Smith, MD

Oct. 19, 2007 -- The CDC has updated its adult vaccination schedule.

Changes to the adult vaccination schedule include:

  • Varicella vaccine: This vaccine, which targets the chickenpox virus, is now recommended for all adults without evidence of immunity to varicella (such as people who haven't had chickenpox).
  • Herpes zoster vaccine: Recommended for everyone aged 60 and older. This vaccine guards against shingles.
  • HPV vaccine: Recommended for all girls and women aged 11-26. This vaccine targets four strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.
  • Whooping cough vaccine: The tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is recommended for all adults aged 64 or younger whose last tetanus-diphtheria booster shot was at least 10 years ago. 

Of course, those aren't the only vaccines that are recommended for adults. The full list includes:

  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccine: Includes whooping cough.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: Targets four HPV strains that can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.
  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine: To prevent measles, mumps, and rubella; vaccination starts in childhood.
  • Varicella vaccine: Targets chickenpox.
  • Influenza vaccine: Annual flu vaccination is the single best way to prevent flu, according to the CDC.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine: Targets pneumonia and other pneumococcal diseases.
  • Hepatitis A vaccine: Helps prevent hepatitis A, a serious liver disease.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine: Targets the hepatitis B virus.
  • Meningococcal vaccine: Guards against meningitis and other meningococcal diseases.
  • Herpes zoster vaccine: Helps prevent shingles and lessens pain from shingles.

Talk to your doctor to see which vaccines you need.

The CDC's latest adult vaccination schedule is endorsed by the American College of Physicians.

The full schedule of recommended vaccinations for adults appears on the CDC's web site, in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

SOURCES: CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Oct. 19, 2007; vol 56: pp Q1-Q4. CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Annals of Internal Medicine, Oct. 18, 2007; online edition. Poland, G. Annals of Internal Medicine, Oct. 18, 2007; online edition. CDC: "Adult Immunization Schedule." News release, American College of Physicians.

© 2007 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.


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