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What Vaccines Do Adults Need?

March 7th, 2012 Healthy Living

You may think that the days of getting a shot every time you're at the doctor are over, right? Well, while you may not have to receive quite so many, adults need vaccinations too! Which ones, however, depends largely on your age. The Centers for Disease Control offers a useful guide to which viruses one should be sure to protect him or herself against. Here are some of the major diseases that you should ask your doctor about the next time you have an appointment.

The only vaccine that you have to receive with any regularity is for the influenza virus. You should have a dose every fall or winter - this is because there are hundreds of variations of the flu virus. Though you can't realistically protect yourself from every single one, scientists predict which will be the most active in a given year and develop vaccines against them.

It's recommended that smoking adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should receive one or two doses of the pneumococcal disease. It is a major cause of pneumonia and cigarette smokers are particularly at risk. Also note that adults over the age of 65 should receive a dose if they've never been vaccinated before.

Have you had chickenpox? If not, the Mayo Clinic recommends having yourself vaccinated. Chickenpox may be relatively harmless for children, but they can cause serious problems for adults. You only need to receive two doses - one can be had at any time, and the second should be taken at least four weeks afterwards.

Whatever you decide to be vaccinated for, make sure you talk to your doctor before moving forward. The last thing you want is to run into unexpected complications.