Do you need vaccinations if you are well past puberty?

When you’re rolling a sleeve up to get the flu shot this year, you might take a minute and ask whether any other immunizations are due, or overdue.

Dr. R. Doug Hardy, an infectious disease specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says that while immunizations are one of the 10 greatest American achievements of the past century, only children’s vaccines are well utilized.

“People need to be more aware of the value of adult vaccines,” Dr. Hardy says.

He said the numbers are low partly because many adults incorrectly assume that the vaccines they received as children will last a lifetime. Still others weren’t immunized as children.

Dr. Hardy says adults should discuss the recommended vaccination schedule with their doctor and determine whether they should be immunized against any of the following conditions: 

  • Influenza
  • Pneumococcal (polysaccharide)
  • Hepatitis A/B
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Varicella
  • Meningococcal

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services for infectious diseases.

Media Contact: Kristen Holland Shear

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