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Healthy Living

Adult immunizations

  • Diphtheria-tetanus booster -- This booster is necessary every 10 years throughout adulthood.

  • Flu shot -- An annual flu shot is advised beginning at age 50. It is also recommended between the ages of 18 and 49 if you have certain chronic illnesses (such as heart or lung disease or diabetes), are in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during the flu season or are immunocompromised. Flu shots are given annually because the type of influenca varies from year to year. You should receive your flu shot in the fall. This timing provides maximum protection during the peak of flu season, which is generally late December through early March.

  • Pneumococcal vaccine -- This vaccine protects against pneumococcal infections, which is responsible for up to half of all cases of pneumonia. You need a vaccination if you are 65 or older and either have never received the pneumococcal vaccine or are not sure you have ever received it; redeived the vaccine more than five years ago and you were younger than 65 at the time; or are between the ages of 18 and 64 and have a chronic condition, such as diabetes, heart disease or sickle-cell disease.

  • Measles and mumps immunization -- If you were born after 1956, you may need a measles or mumps immunization if you haven't had hte measles or mumps, an immunization or lab evidence of immunity against measles or mumps. Some people may need two doses of the measles vaccine.

  • Rubella immunization -- A rubella immunization is recommended for you if you were born in 1957 or later, unless you have antibodies against the disease.

This information is not intended to replace your doctor's advice. Talk to your doctor to see if these immunizations are right for you. He or she may recommend immunizations based on your age, gender and medical history.

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