So you are getting your breast exams, pap smears, and colonoscopies. What about regular vaccinations?

With age comes a slighter weaker immune system that puts older adults at risk for certain diseases.

Here are vaccines that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends for older adults:


Almost one out of every three people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. Your risk of shingles increases as you grow older. The CDC recommends that people over 60 years of age receive the shingles vaccine (Zostavax). This is recommended even if you can’t remember having chickenpox, which causes the same virus as shingles. Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. Speak to your healthcare provider about when to get the shingles vaccine if you have had an outbreak.


Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu, as well as complications that may lead to hospitalization. According to the CDC, 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older. It takes about two weeks for protective antibodies to build up and fight any exposure to influenza viruses. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, but getting a vaccination later can still be beneficial, even into January and the later winter months.


Recommended for all adults over 65 years old and for adults younger than 65 years who have certain chronic health conditions.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough

According to the CDC, “every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.”

In recent years, whooping cough has been making a comeback. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the risk and whether being vaccinated is appropriate.

Watch this video to understand how vaccines work and why they are important for older adults.

NOTE – There might be some cases when these vaccines are not recommended. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about vaccines that are appropriate for you.