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Immunizations for adults and pregnant women

Never too old for immunity

No one is too old for immunizations. The need for immunizations continues in adulthood — adults need immunizations to protect yourself and those around you.

As we age, immunity from childhood vaccinations begins to wear off, resulting in adults being at risk for serious, potentially life-threatening diseases. In fact, every year approximately 50,000 adults in the United States die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Staying up-to-date on immunizations is the most effective protection to keep safe from these dangerous illnesses.

Vaccine recommendations may change over the years due to new recommendations or because certain vaccines may not have been available when someone was a child. Some adults need booster immunizations and others need to be immunized against specific diseases for the first time. Specific immunization recommendations are determined by age, lifestyle, health conditions, travel plans and previous immunizations.

Recommended adult immunizations:

  • Influenza (flu) vaccine is given 1 time each year to prevent the flu.
  • Prevnar 13 (pneumonia) vaccine is given 1 time each year after the age of 65. This vaccine may be given earlier if you have certain health conditions. 
  • Pneumovax 23 (pneumonia) vaccine is given 1 time after the age of 65, at least 1 year after Prevnar 13. This vaccine may be given earlier than age 65 if you have certain health conditions.
  • Shingrix (zoster) vaccine is given 2 times after the age of 50 to prevent shingles. You should receive this vaccine even if you previously received the vaccine Zostavax. 
  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine is given 1 time as an adult. Adults need a shot of Td (tetanus and diphtheria) every 10 years. 
  • Additional vaccinations may be needed to protect against other vaccine-preventable diseases.

To determine which immunizations you need, contact your Sanford Health primary care provider.

Maternal immunization: a safe, healthy pregnancy

During pregnancy, a mother shares everything with her baby. Immunizations during pregnancy protect both mom and baby from developing serious vaccine-preventable diseases. In the first several months of life, infants are at greater risk of severe illness from influenza and pertussis (whooping cough). Infants are too young to be directly immunized. Through maternal vaccination, a mother is giving her baby early, life-saving protection.

Recommended immunizations during pregnancy:

  • Seasonal influenza (flu): Influenza vaccination is recommended during any trimester of pregnancy to prevent influenza-related complications which can lead to premature labor and preterm birth.
  • Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis): Tdap vaccination is recommended between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. Pertussis outbreaks continue to occur in the U.S. with infants at the highest risk of severe illness, including hospitalization and death.

Contact your Sanford Health primary care provider or OB/GYN to schedule an appointment today.