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Vaccination: Not just for kids!

Updated: Apr 10, 2019

Homework. Acne. Getting grounded. These are a few things you can generally say good-bye to when you reach adulthood. Here’s one you can’t:

Getting vaccinated.

Many adults think vaccines are for kids. Some even believe getting vaccinated will make them sick. Both statements are FALSE.

Here are some FACTS:

  • Vaccines are an important way healthy adults can stay healthy.

  • Vaccines help adults with chronic health conditions avoid life-threatening illnesses.

  • Vaccines do NOT make you sick. They can lower your immune system while your body builds antibodies against the infection the vaccine will protect you from. This might make you feel crummy for a few days.

  • Vaccine reactions and side effects are rare. If you’re worried about a reaction, talk to your doctor or ParTNers Center provider.

Which vaccines do adults need?

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends — and the ParTNers Health & Wellness Center stocks — the following vaccines:

Flu (influenza) – You should get a flu shot every year, PERIOD! It not only protects you and those around you from the flu, it can also shorten the duration and severity of illness. There are very few reasons you should not get a flu shot.

TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) – You should get a TDaP booster in adulthood, then every 10 years thereafter. Women should get one dose during every pregnancy.

HPV (human papillomavirus) – Women through age 26 and men through age 21 should get the two-dose HPV series. The vaccine protects against most cases of cervical cancer in women, genital cancers in men, and genital warts in both men and women. It’s generally given around ages 9 to 14. The CDC may soon increase the maximum age of vaccination, but new recommendations have not yet been released.

Shingles (herpes zoster) – Adults age 50 and older should be vaccinated against shingles, an infection that causes a painful skin rash. There are two types of vaccine:

The newer Shingrix*, a two-dose series given 6-12 months apart, starting at age 50

The older Zostavax, one dose generally given starting at age 60

Pneumonia (pneumococcal) –  The pneumonia vaccine is generally recommended for people age 65 or older, smokers, and those with health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, COPD or HIV/AIDS. There are two types of vaccine; the ParTNers Center carries Pneumovax (PPSV23).

Hepatitis B – This vaccine is recommended for those working in healthcare or similar professions.

TB skin test (tuberculosis) – This is not a vaccine but a test. It’s generally recommended for those working in healthcare, corrections, jobs with large concentrated populations, etc.


Your primary care physician, specialist or one of our providers at the ParTNers Center can help you decide which vaccines you need.

The CDC is also a good resource for more detail on individual vaccines and who needs them. Check out this detailed chart.

Who should not get vaccinated?

There are very few reasons adults should not get vaccinated. Here are a few important warnings:

  • Avoid live vaccines during pregnancy, including vaccines for chickenpox (varicella), MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) and shingles.

  • People with compromised immune systems should avoid some vaccines, especially those made with live virus including chickenpox, shingles and MMR. Discuss your individual situation with your provider.

Schedule an appointment at the ParTNers Center at 615-741-1709 to discuss your vaccination needs.

* The ongoing Shingrix vaccine shortage is still affecting the ParTNers Center’s supply.


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