Adult Immunizations

Adult Immunization

Why do I need to be vaccinated?

Your need for immunizations does not end when you reach adulthood. Some adults incorrectly assume that the vaccines they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives. But:

  • Some adults were never vaccinated as children
  • Newer vaccines were not available when some adults were children
  • Immunity can begin to fade over time
  • As we age, we become more susceptible to serious disease caused by common infections (e.g., flu, pneumococcus)

The specific vaccines you need as an adult are determined by factors such as your age, gender, lifestyle, type and locations of travel, overall health, and previous immunizations.

Call your physician with questions and to ask which vaccines you should receive

Which Vaccines May be Right for You?

Shingles (herpes zoster)

This vaccine can help prevent shingles or make shingles less painful. One dose of shingles vaccine is recommended for adults age 60 and older, whether or not they've had shingles before. Adults need one dose.

H1N1 Influenza

This shot helps protect against infection caused by the H1N1 influenza (flu) virus. Adults need one dose.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually spread by close personal contact and sometimes by eating food or drinking water containing HAV. Vaccine is recommended if you live in a community with a high rate of hepatitis, you are a man and have sex with other men, you use street drugs, you work or travel to countries with high rates of hepatitis A; you have long-term liver disease; or you receive blood products to help your blood clot. Adults need two doses given at least 6 months apart.

Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B virus spreads by way of body fluids, including blood. Adults who have not received the vaccine series for hepatitis B need this shot when occupation, travel, health condition, or lifestyle increases their risk of exposure. Three doses are needed over at least 4 months.

Tetanus and diphtheria (Td) or Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap)

The Tdap shot protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis). The Td shot does not protect against pertussis. All adults need tetanus booster shots every 10 years throughout life. All adults 19 to 64 years of age should have one shot of Tdap in place of a Td shot.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

This shot protects against measles, mumps, and rubella Adults born during or after 1957 may need one or two doses if they do not have evidence of immunity.

For more information on these vaccines, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Please consult with your physician about which vaccines you should receive

To register for local clinics please go to the Cape Cod Medical Reserves Website.

  1. Take the on-line quiz to see which vaccines may be right for you.
  2. Print out the list of suggested vaccines and discuss them with your physician.
  3. Register for the clinic by entering your name, phone number, and email address.
  4. Select the vaccines you want to receive at the clinic.
  5. You will be given a clinic appointment time.
  6. Print out the Vaccine Permission sheet. Fill it out in advance and bring it to the clinic with you

If you do not have a computer or internet access, please call the Health Department at 508-896-3701 X120 who will schedule an appointment for you.