Adult Vaccines

Protection from Serious Illness

Vaccines are an important part of protecting your health — even as an adult. Talk to an Aurora primary care expert about the vaccines that are right for you.

Overview 

Vaccines to Prevent Serious Illnesses

Life-threatening problems such as measles and mumps were once common and spread quickly from person to person. Vaccines build up your natural defense (immunity) against certain diseases. But the germs that cause them still exist. Staying up-to-date with your vaccines is the best way to protect yourself — and others — against preventable diseases.

 

Recommendations

Adult Vaccine Recommendations

Aurora primary care providers recommend the vaccines that are best for you based on nationally recognized care guidelines. Following these guidelines means you are receiving shots identified by leading experts as the best ways to prevent serious illness.

All adults should receive:

  • Seasonal flu vaccine: Also known as a flu shot, this vaccine changes from year to year to protect you against changes in the flu virus. Experts recommend you receive a flu shot every year. Read our flu shot FAQs.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria (Td) or tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) vaccines: If you didn’t receive a tetanus shot as a child, it is important to get one right away. Td booster shots are recommended every 10 years.

Adults between 19 to 26 years old should also receive:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: This shot helps fight the virus that causes most cervical cancers, anal cancer and genital warts.
  • Vaccines for contagious diseases If you’re a college student, you may need shots to protect against meningitis, measles, mumps and rubella.

Vaccines for pregnant women

Women who are pregnant should also receive the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine. This vaccine builds immunity that gets passed on to your baby, protecting against potentially life-threatening complications of whooping cough.

Adults age 50 and older should also receive:

  • Zoster vaccine: If you had chickenpox as a child, you face a higher risk of getting shingles, a painful skin rash that affects older adults. The zoster vaccine fights the virus that causes shingles.

Adults age 65 and older should also receive:

  • Pneumococcal vaccine: This vaccine protects you against ear, brain and lung infections (pneumonia).

Vaccine recommendations for health care workers

Health care professionals with regular patient contact face a higher risk for certain disease and should receive:

  • Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine: This shot protects against hepatitis B, which can lead to severe liver damage.
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR vaccine): One shot lowers your risk for all three conditions, which spread quickly from person to person and often cause serious complications.
  • Varicella vaccine: This shot protects against chickenpox. Although rare in adults, chickenpox can increase the risk for serious complications, such as bone infections, the later in life you experience it.
  • Meningitis (meningococcal) vaccine: This shot lowers your risk for meningitis, which is a serious infection affecting the spinal cord.

Recommended vaccines for international travel

If you travel internationally, you may need vaccines to protect you against diseases that are common in other countries, such as yellow fever in certain parts of Africa. For the best results, you may need to get the vaccines up to six weeks before you leave home.

The vaccines that are best for you depend on your destination and the length of your stay. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Traveler’s Health website to find out which vaccines are recommended for your destination.

What Do I Need?

Vaccines That Are Right for You

The vaccines that are best for you depend on your age and other factors, such as:

  • Being pregnant
  • Having additional health problems, such as asthma or heart disease
  • Working in a clinical setting, such as a hospital
  • Traveling to other countries
  • Participating in activities that draw large groups of people together for long periods of time, such as attending college

Our systemwide electronic health record makes it easy to keep track of vaccines you receive from any Aurora provider. This information also helps primary care providers make recommendations when new vaccines are available or you are due for a booster. This additional shot “boosts” your ability to fight off certain diseases over time.

Why Aurora?

Protecting Your Health With Adult Vaccines

Aurora Health Care primary care providers help adults of all ages live well with preventive services, such as vaccines, that lower your risk of getting sick in the first place. We make it easy and convenient to get the vaccines you need so you can keep pace with your busy lifestyle.

Highlights of vaccines at Aurora include:

  • Preventive care without an appointment: Some vaccines, such as hepatitis B and pneumonia, are available at select Aurora pharmacies. We also offer walk-in services for some vaccines at Aurora QuickCare at Walgreens locations.
  • Easy access to flu shots: Getting a flu shot every year lowers your risk of getting influenza. You can get flu shots at more than 150 Aurora clinics and pharmacies. See our flu shot locations.
  • Affordability: Health insurance often covers the cost of many preventive services, including vaccines. Your out-of-pocket costs may vary based on your insurance coverage. Find out more about health plans we accept.
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