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Immunizations - General Information - Adults

What Vaccines Do I Need?
Vaccines are recommended for children, but adolescents and adults can benefit from vaccines, too. Use this interactive site to find out what vaccines YOU may need.

You’re Never Too Old to Get Shots; Adult Immunizations
Getting immunized is a lifelong, life-protecting job. Don't leave your health professional's office without making sure you've had all the vaccinations you need. This table will help you to keep track of the immunizations that you need and the table breaks down immunization needs for the age groups of 19-45 years of age, 46-64 years of age, and 65 years plus.
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Guidelines for Vaccinating Pregnant Women
Vaccination of pregnant women should be considered on the basis of risks versus benefits - i.e., the risk of the vaccination versus the benefits of protection in a particular circumstance. This table can be used as a general guide.
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Immunization Not Just Kid’s Stuff
Lots of people think “shots” or immunizations are just for kids. They're not! As an adult, you need to be protected against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pneumococcal disease, influenza, and varicella. You may also need protection against hepatitis A and B. Your best protection against these diseases? Immunization. This brochure will help to answer your questions about adult immunizatios.
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Can I Get My Vaccination Today? (PDF)
There are certain situations that would put you at risk for vaccinations. Answering the questions in this short form can help you and your health provider in determining your safety with immunizations.

Shot for Adults with HIV
With some immunocompromised, diseases such as HIV, adults may need an alternative dosage or schedule. You can use this table to discuss the need for immunization with your health care provider.
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A Vaccination Checklist for Adults
Many adults are behind on their vaccinations. These checklists will help you determine if you need any vaccinations.
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Vaccine Side-Effects
Most People who receive vaccinations experience no, or mild, reaction such as fever or soreness at the site of the shot. Rarely, people experience more serious side effects, like an allergic reaction. This information answers common questions about the side effects of vaccines.

Vaccination Additives
Check to see if you are allergic to the additives in your vaccinations; here is a list of those additives.

Vaccines for Travel
Vaccines are recommended to protect travelers from illnesses present in other parts of the world and to prevent the importation of infectious diseases across international borders. Which vaccinations you need depends on a number of factors including your destination, whether you will be spending time in rural areas, the season of the year you are traveling, your age, health status, and previous immunizations. Search by country to find out which vaccinations are recommended, for your destination or world region.

What should be done if someone has a reaction to a vaccine?

Call a doctor. If the person is having a severe reaction take him or her to a doctor right away.

Call 911 if the person is having difficulty breathing and/or has a change in consciousness.

After any reaction, tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given. 

Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form, or call VAERS yourself at 1-800-822-7967.

In the rare event that a vaccine injures a child, he or she may be compensated through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). For more information about VICP visit their website or call 1-800-338-2382.

© 2006 American Association for Respiratory Care