We all know that infants and children have a lot of different vaccinations that they need to obtain as they get older, but what about adults? Part of the adult wellness physical exams in my office and other physician offices across the country are dedicated to discussing vaccinations meant for the “less young” population. Here is what you should know:
Get the Flu Shot: Every year. Sure, sometimes the flu shot works better some years than others, but it’s very hard to argue against the studies that show it protects people of all ages against the flu.
Prevnar-13: This is one of two different pneumonia shots that every adult over 65 years of age should get. It’s a one-time vaccination shot.
Pneumovax: This shot needs to be at least one full year before or after your Prevnar-13 and then every 5 years after that. This vaccination inoculates patients against pneumonia causing bacteria that are NOT covered in the Prevnar-13 vaccination.
Shingrix (aka The Shingles Shot): It is indicated to be given to adults as young as age 50. After receiving the first Shingrix shot, you will need a repeat shot between 60 days and up to 180 days from receiving the first shot. The previous “shingles shot” known as Zostavax is only about 50 percent effective at preventing shingles. The Shingrix vaccination, however, is more than 90 percent effective. Most insurances, including Medicare, cover this vaccination and patients who have gotten the “old shingles shot” should get the Shingrix as well. Unfortunately, there is currently a nationwide shortage due to the shot’s demand, but the manufacturer is currently working hard to try to make more vaccine.