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A Grown-up Shot in the Arm

A Grown-up Shot in the Arm

Jennifer Lopez and Amanda Peet are Hollywood A-listers who favor vaccinations for children. But do they know vaccines aren’t just for babies and back-to-schoolers? They should take the CDC quiz (Google: “adolescent and adult vaccine quiz”) and find out what they might need—and so should you! Adult vaccines and boosters protect you, your family and neighbors from a variety of contagious diseases. Here’s our YOUDoc recommendations: 

Flu shots—Annually.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)  Born before 1957? You’re considered immune to the trio. Born in 1957 or later? You should have documentation of vaccination. Don’t have that? Get protection. During the first five months of 2011, 45 percent of US measles cases were in adults 20 and older. 
Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) It’s for any adult who hasn’t had the Tdap vaccine and all pregnant women. Had your Tdap? Ask about a booster; the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine loses effectiveness over time. Get a booster vaccine for tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years following the Tdap vaccine.
Pneumococcal disease (pneumonia) Foradults 65+ and folks with specific health conditions,there are two forms of this vaccine; you and your doc should talk about getting each one in alternate years.

Shingles – For anyone 50 or older. Two doses of it reduce the risk of shingles and the lingering nerve pain that can result by more than 90 percent.

Varicella (chicken pox) -- Born in the US before 1980? You’re assumed to be immune. Otherwise, age 13+ and haven’t had chickenpox or the vaccine? Get two doses, at least 28 days apart.

Medically reviewed in January 2018.

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