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Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Vaccines & Immunizations

Recommendations and Guidelines:

Adult Immunization Schedule
(Anyone over 18 years old)

Immunization Recommendations, United States - 2009

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2009 Adult Schedule

2006-2007 Adult Immunization Schedule

Other versions can be viewed on the Schedules page

2009 Regular version:
Other versions:

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Changes in the schedule since last version

The 2009 schedule differs from the previous Sept. 2007-Oct. 08 schedule as follows:

Format Changes (Figures 1 and 2)

To make the figures easier to understand, several formatting changes were implemented to both the age group--based schedule and the medical and other indications schedule. The changes include 1) increasing the number of age groups; 2) deleting the hatched yellow bar for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap) vaccine while adding explanatory text to the Td/Tdap bar; 3) simplifying the figures by removing schedule text from the vaccine bars; 4) revising the order of the vaccines to more appropriately group the vaccines, and 5) adding a legend box to clarify the meaning of blank spaces in the table.

Footnote Changes (Figures 1 and 2)

    • The human papillomavirus (HPV) footnote #2 has language added to indicate that health-care personnel are not at increased risk because of occupational exposure, but they should be vaccinated consistent with age-based recommendations. Also, text has been added to indicate that vaccination with HPV may begin at age 9 years.
    • The varicella footnote #3 has language added to clarify that adults who previously received only 1 dose of vaccine should receive a second dose.
    • Asthma and cigarette smoking have been added as indications for pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination #7. Also, text has been added to clarify vaccine use in Alaska Natives and American Indians.
    • The Hepatitis A footnote #9 has additional schedule information for the 4-dose combined hepatitis A/hepatitis B vaccine.
    • The Hepatitis B footnote #10 has additional schedule information for the 4-dose combined hepatitis A/hepatitis B vaccine, and a clarification of schedule information for special formulation indications has been added.
    • The meningococcal vaccine footnote #11 clarifies that the revaccination interval is 5 years.

See MMWR for complete list, figures, footnotes, and references omitted here.

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Why might some adults need vaccines?

Some adults incorrectly assume that the vaccines they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives. Generally this is true, except that:

  • Some adults were never vaccinated as children

  • Newer vaccines were not available when some adults were children

  • Immunity can begin to fade over time

  • As we age, we become more susceptible to serious disease caused by common infections (e.g., flu, pneumococcus)

Consult the Adult Vaccine Preventable Diseases page to learn about each disease. It includes a short description, symptoms, complications, transmission, and whether or not you need the vaccine as an adult.

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Adult Vaccination Screening Form

It can sometimes be difficult to understand or keep track of exactly which vaccines you need. Use the following form to help you understand what vaccines might be important for you. Questions on the form help you and your doctor decide which vaccines you need and when to get them. You can print the form, fill it out, and take it with you to the office the next time you see your doctor. The clinician's version of the form can be distributed and used in clinics and healthcare professionals' offices.

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Adolescent and Adult Vaccine "Quiz"

Vaccines are important for adult and adolescents as well as children. Vaccine recommendations for adolescents and adults are based on a variety of factors including age, overall health status, and medical history.

To help you understand what vaccines you might need, you can complete the Adolescent and Adult Vaccine Quiz online. Then print your results and discuss them with your doctor or healthcare professional next time you make an office visit. Take the quiz.

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Related Topics

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This page last modified on April 7, 2009
Content last reviewed on January 4, 2009
Content Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

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Vaccines and Immunizations