Annual Vaccine Guidelines
While we are on the subject of vaccines, here are the 2014 recommendations for vaccines for adults as per the CDC. There are many exceptions to these general rules based on confounding health conditions, so be sure to discuss with your doctor what is best for you.
Influenza: yearly. For everyone. It should be coming out at the end of this month, and I recommend getting it as soon as it comes out. For pregnant women, I recommend the thimerosal-free, inactivated version – the only one I carry. I recommend it during pregnancy, regardless of trimester.
TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis): once every ten years. This is a tough one to remember… you may have had it if you went to the ER for a cut and got your ‘tetanus booster.’ I also recommend it during each pregnancy in the late second trimester. If you’re not sure when you had it last, get it.
Varicella (Chickenpox): 2 doses at least one month apart, once. Most kids today get this at the pediatrician’s office, and that’s sufficient lifetime. If you had chicken pox, you don’t need this. If you’re not sure that you had chicken pox, and you never had the vaccine, a simple blood test can confirm if you are immune – if not, you should get the vaccine.
HPV (Gardasil): as we discussed yesterday. 3 doses over 6 months, once. FDA approved and recommended for women ages 9-44, men ages 9-26.
Zoster (Shingles): once, at age 60.
MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella): 1-2 doses, once. You usually got this as a child and needed to document it in order to enroll in school.
Pneumococcus (Pneumonia): once, at age 65. More often and sooner for a variety of people with lung and immune system illnesses.
Meningococcus (Meningitis): once, age 16-21 if you will be living in a dorm.
Hepatitis A: 2 doses, once; only for people with various risk factors.
Hepatitis B: 3 doses, once; almost everyone should have this, with few exceptions.
Here’s the link to the CDC site which goes into great detail about confounding health conditions and risk factors: