If you’re like me, you haven’t had a vaccination shot in a long while and you might be wondering what shots you’ll need. This is exacerbated by the fact that I’ve had three primary care physicians in the last three years and I haven’t had a physical since the start of my last job in 2003. So, while I’m pretty sure I’m current on my shots, it’s good to know what shots are really necessary because I don’t really want to get unnecessary shots or pay out unnecessary money. In a recent issue of the Bottom Line, Dr. William Schaffner, chairman, department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN, lists the following as necessary adult vaccinations (assuming you received all the standard vaccinations as a child):
- Tetanus-Diphtheria vaccine (Tdap) vaccination every 10 years. The Tdap vaccination protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (known as whopping cough).
- Hepatitis B vaccine for those not in a long-term monogamous relationship.
- Pneumococcal vaccine every ten years, it protects against pneumococcal pneumonia and especially important for those ages 65 and over, those who have heart or long disease, or those with compromised immune systems.
- Flu shots are also important.
If you’ve never had a vaccination, add these:
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is a pretty standard vaccine.
- Varicella vaccine (chicken-pox) if you’ve never had chicken pox before.
Some more information is available at CDC’s National Immunization Program’s site .