College of American Pathologists
Printable Version

  Adult Vaccinations


Posted July 22, 2009


Maintaining an up-to-date vaccination status is important for adult health. Diseases that are particularly severe in older patients, such as pneumococcal pneumonia and influenza may be prevented though adult vaccination. Each patient should discuss their vaccinations status with their primary care physician.

Message for the Public

  • Vaccinations are often associated with childhood, but adult vaccinations are important for disease prevention, too.
  • All individuals should discuss the status of their vaccinations with their primary care provider.
  • All patients over the age of 50 should receive an influenza vaccination each year.
  • All patients > 65 years old should receive the pneumococcal vaccine to prevent pneumonia.
  • Recently, the varicella vaccine has been recommended for all adults without a history of exposure (i.e. chickenpox), and the zoster vaccine has been recommended for patients > 60 years old.
  • There are important contraindications to certain vaccinations, which include pregnancy and immunocompromising conditions.