Recommended Adult Vaccines and How to Keep Track of Them

While many people associate vaccines with childhood, it’s important to remember that vaccines are recommended even as an adult. Vaccines are essential for everybody and help maintain good health and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. 


Most illnesses, hospitalizations, disabilities, and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases occur among adults. In fact, only 1 in 5 adults is up-to-date on their vaccines. 


The reality is that the older we are, the more susceptible we are to becoming vulnerable to different diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends various vaccines for adults based on factors such as age, lifestyle, and risk conditions.



Recommended Adult Vaccines

One of the most important vaccines for adults is the seasonal Flu vaccine. The flu can be a serious illness, especially for older adults and those with chronic health conditions.

 It’s recommended for adults to get their flu vaccine every year. The reason behind this is ‌that ‌the flu virus changes quickly and can be highly dangerous for those with a higher risk of complications. 


Another vital adult vaccine is the Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). This vaccine is recommended for all adults who haven’t received it before, and it’s especially important for those in close contact with infants. 


The CDC also recommends the shingles vaccine for adults over the age of 50. Shingles is a painful rash that can occur in people who have had chickenpox, and the risk of developing shingles increases with age. The shingles vaccine can help prevent this painful condition. 


Other vaccines that may be recommended for adults include the HPV vaccine and the Pneumococcal vaccine. 


Before getting any vaccine, it’s important for adults to keep track of their vaccination records and talk to their healthcare provider about which vaccines are right for them. 


Vaccines can also help prevent the spread of illness to others, especially those more vulnerable to severe complications associated with certain diseases. They’re available at the doctor’s office, as well as many pharmacies, and most are covered by insurance.


It’s essential to bring your immunization record to your doctor appointments and make sure the doctor signs and dates every vaccine received. By getting vaccinated, adults can protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community from severe illnesses and complications.


The CDC provides a recommended adult immunization schedule for ages 19 years or older, which can be used to determine which vaccines are recommended by age. 


By staying up-to-date on vaccines, adults can help protect themselves and those around them from serious illnesses and complications. Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases that once killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. Without vaccines, people are at risk of getting severe illnesses that can have dangerous complications or even lead to later illnesses. 


Keeping track of your immunizations is essential, but unfortunately, no national organization maintains vaccination records, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t have this information. The records that exist are the ones you or your parents were given when the vaccines were administered and the ones in the medical history of the doctor or clinic where the vaccines were given. 


If you need official copies of your vaccination records or need to update your personal records, there are several places you can look:

  • You can ask parents or other caregivers if they have records of your childhood immunizations. 
  • Look through baby books or other saved documents from your childhood.
  •  Check with your high school and college health services for dates of any immunizations. Remember that generally, records are kept only 1–2 years after students leave. 
  • Check with your doctor or public health clinic. Keep in mind that vaccination records are maintained at the doctor’s office for a limited number of years.
  • You can check with the Georgia Department of Health‌ — they have immunization records available upon request. 


Remember, vaccines not only protect you but also those around you, especially those who are more vulnerable to severe complications. At Gwinnett Coalition, we’re here to help you learn about the importance of getting vaccinated. Let’s roll up our sleeves to protect ourselves and the ones we love!