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Adult vaccinations

You never outgrow the need for shots

You may be surprised to hear that even adults need shots. Vaccines can help you stay healthy, so you don’t miss work or time with your family, friends and hobbies.

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What it is

Vaccinations are a safe and effective way to keep you from getting and spreading illness.

You may assume that the vaccines you received as a child will protect you for the rest of your life. Generally, this is true - except that:

  • You may not have been vaccinated as a child.
  • Newer vaccines were not available when you were a child.
  • Immunity can begin to fade over time.

As you age, you may become more susceptible to disease.

What to expect

The immunizations you need as an adult are determined by your:

  • age
  • lifestyle
  • high-risk conditions
  • travel
  • previous immunizations

Your provider will talk with you to determine what vaccinations are right for you. Most vaccinations are given during a health maintenance exam appointment.

Allina Health providers follows the same immunization schedule, based on recommendations of the American Academy of Family Physicians. It is endorsed by the Immunization Practices Task Force of the Minnesota Department of Health.

Good to know

Vaccines work with your immune system by imitating an infection. Vaccines are made from weakened or dead germs that cause the disease, but they will not cause you to get it.

Most vaccines produce immunity about 90 to 100 percent of the time.

Vaccines are safe. The United States’ long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible through ongoing monitoring by the Food and Drug Administration.

Related links

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Reviewed by: Keith Olson, DO, regional medical director

First published: 12/7/2016
Last reviewed: 12/7/2016