Ask Avera: What Immunizations Are Recommended For Adults?

Ask Avera: What Immunizations Are Recommended For Adults?

(KSFY) -

Vaccinations are often synonymous with kids but they aren’t just for kids. Medical professionals say adults need to be just as concerned – and the flu isn’t the only illness adults should be immunized against.

Internal medicine physician Dr. Jennifer McKay is one of our Ask Avera experts. She says staying up-to-date on your immunizations is imperative to staying healthy.

“Number one is the flu shot; you should get it every year. Number two would be tetanus, diphtheria and then MMR are other ones you can talk to your physician about, as well. And those would be ones that are recommended for everyone,” said Dr. McKay.

Dr. McKay says some people may not be as familiar with the newer vaccines.

“Varicella I think is probably the biggest one. We didn't ever used to immunize for what we call the chickenpox. In fact, I haven't had the immunization because I've had the chickenpox. But we are recommending that adults get those, depending on your age group. That's another thing you can talk to your physician about. And then of course there's the hepatitis vaccinations and some of the pneumonia vaccinations that would be recommended based on maybe your job type, whether or not you travel and then of course any other chronic conditions that you have,” said Dr. McKay.

The shingles vaccine is also recommended for adults. It is a reactivation of varicella.

“They are recommending that because we know that shingles does have a profound impact on older people when they get it. They are recommending that you speak to your doctor about it. Again, it may go into the bucket of those chronic conditions. If you have any questions about it though, they have a very good diagram on the CDC website and that's changing pretty continuously,” said Dr. McKay.

If you have a question for one of our Ask Avera experts, e-mail Tess at

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