Adults need to get vaccines, just like kids. Of course, they don’t get as many vaccines as kids, since many adults are either already immune or are no longer at risk to many vaccine-preventable diseases.
Adults do get:
- a yearly flu vaccine
- a single dose of Tdap (if they haven’t had it before and during each pregnancy) and a Td shot every ten years
- the pneumococcal vaccines once they are 65 years old
- the shingles vaccine once they are 60 years old
They can also get most other vaccines, except Rotavirus and DTaP (they get Tdap instead), that they need because they lack immunity. Although it is not on the immunization schedule, adults can get the polio vaccine if necessary.
Another question that comes up concerning adult vaccines is why so adults and children get the same vaccines. In other words, are vaccines calibrated taking into account a child’s weight and age?
Donald Trump often says that he is against vaccines because we give “one massive dose for a child,” going on to say that they should get smaller dosages in a more spread out schedule. Some others agree, claiming that infants shouldn’t get the same dose of vaccine as an adult.
But do they?
Not always. There are pediatric versions of the influenza, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and DTaP (vs Tdap) vaccines.
It doesn’t necessarily matter though. Unlike medications you take, like Tylenol or an antibiotic, vaccines don’t go through your whole body to work, so your size doesn’t matter.
For more information on why this isn’t a real issue:
- Vaccine Doses
- Vaccines – Infants vs Adults
- How Vaccines Work
- Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older — United States, 2016
- Ask the Experts: Polio Vaccination
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