As an adult, it is important to stay up to date with vaccines to lower your chances of getting sick. There are vaccines recommended for all adults, and some vaccines are needed especially if you are pregnant, have diabetes or other chronic conditions, or if you are a smoker. Vaccines are available from your primary care provider, OB-GYN, or local pharmacy. Learn more about the vaccines adults should have and the diseases they prevent.
What Adults Should Know About Vaccinations
If you got all your vaccines as a child, the protection from some vaccines can wear off over time. You may also be at risk for other diseases due to your job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions. Vaccines lower your chance of getting sick and spreading certain diseases. To learn more about why vaccines are important in your adult life, read 3 Important Reasons for Adults to Get Vaccinated.
Vaccines are an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Getting vaccines during your pregnancy can provide your newborn with some early disease protection. Pregnant women should get flu vaccine and whopping cough vaccine (also called Tdap). Your OB/GYN, midwife, or other healthcare professional may recommend other vaccines either before, during or after your pregnancy.
Use The Adult Vaccine Quiz to find out exactly which vaccines you may need based on your age, health conditions, job, travel and other factors. After you take the quiz, discuss the list with your doctor or health care professional.
Refer to the Immunization Schedule for current recommendations for adults based on age and health condition, including pregnancy.
People working in health care settings who have the potential for exposure to patients and infectious material have certain vaccine needs. Refer to this summary of recommended vaccines and recommendations for health-care personnel. In short, vaccines are recommended for hepatitis B, influenza, MMR, varicella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and meningococcal disease.
Your doctor may have your vaccination history. If you do not have a vaccination record, now is a good time to start one. The Immunization Registry may also have a record of your vaccinations. For help finding your record, contact Immunization Registry User Support at 888-688-4667 or IMR@vermont.gov.
Pharmacies in Vermont can vaccinate adults starting at age 18, and they can bill insurance. Ask the pharmacy questions about cost and billing. Enter your zip code in the Vaccine Finder to locate a pharmacy that provides vaccines near you.
The Vermont Immunization Program supplies primary care providers with all recommended vaccines for adults (except flu) 19–64 years of age. Although some health care providers may charge patients small fees for the administration of vaccine, Vermont supplies these vaccines to health care providers free of charge. People without health insurance may receive vaccines at no cost through the Health Department Local Offices. The program cannot currently provide vaccines for those 65 years and older, as Medicare doesn’t pay into the Vermont Vaccine Purchasing Program. Many providers have vaccines available for those 65 and older.