Vaccines are not just for children. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has released the Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule for 2015, which provides a summary of ACIP recommendations for the use of vaccines routinely recommended for adults.
An article published last year in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine estimated that 30,000 adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases each year. The study additionally found that vaccination rates among adults remain “stubbornly low.”
The most significant change to the adult vaccination schedule is the recommendation for routine administration of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in series with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) for all adults age 65 and older. Pneumococcal infection remains a major cause of morbidity including bacteremia, meningitis, and pneumonia among older adults. Adults over the age of 65 should receive one dose of each pneumococcal vaccine.
The complete adult recommended vaccine schedule including footnote changes was simultaneously published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (TD or Tdap): Diphtheria is a contagious bacterial disease that results in suffocation, heart failure, and paralysis. Tetanus is a bacterial infection that causes painful spasms and muscle stiffness. Pertussis, or whooping cough, initially causes symptoms similar to the common cold but can result in seizures, pneumonia, brain damage, and death. The Tdap vaccine should be administered every ten years and with each pregnancy.
Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib): Haemophilus influenza type b is the leading cause of meningitis. Adults with certain risk factors should receive the Hib vaccine.
Hepatitis A (HepA): Hepatitis A is a liver infection that can result in death and which is spread through contact with infected feces. Adults with certain risk factors should receive the HepA vaccine.
Hepatitis B (HepB): Hepatitis B is a liver infection that causes liver disease, cirrhosis, and cancer and which is spread through contact with infected blood and other bodily fluids. Adults with certain risk factors should receive the HepB vaccine.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): The human papillomavirus is a virus that can cause genital warts, cervical cancer, and other cancers of the genital region. Men up to age 21 and women up to age 26 should receive three doses of the HPV vaccine.
Influenza (Flu): Influenza is a viral infection that often results in pneumonia, bronchitis, or death in young children. Influenza can also lead to complications resulting in hospitalization and death for all age groups. The influenza vaccine should be administered yearly.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): Measles is a viral infection that often causes pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death. Mumps can lead to meningitis, encephalitis, hearing loss, swelling of the testes, and sterility. Rubella, or German measles, causes fever, swollen glands, and a rash; rubella is most dangerous for pregnant women, resulting in birth defects or death of the fetus. The combination MMR vaccine should be administered in two doses up to age 59.
Meningococcal: Meningococcal disease causes fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and altered mental status and can result in permanent disabilities, amputations, and death. Adults with certain risk factors should receive the meningococcal vaccine.
Pneumococcal 13-Valent Conjugate (PCV13): Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that causes sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis as well as hearing loss, vision loss, and death. Adults over the age of 65 should receive the PCV13 vaccine.
Pneumococcal Polysaccharide (PPSV23): Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that causes sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis as well as hearing loss, vision loss, and death. Adults over the age of 65 and adults with certain other risk factors should receive the PCV13 vaccine.
Varicella (Var): Varicella, or chickenpox, can result in severe infections of the skin, brain, or lungs; sterility, and death. Adults who have not had the chickenpox or been vaccinated should receive two doses of the varicella vaccine.
Zoster: Shingles (zoster or herpes zoster) is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Symptoms include painful rash, fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach. The most common complication of shingles is post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a condition that causes severe pain in the areas of the shingles rash after the rash clears up. Adults age 60 and older should receive the shingles vaccine.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace the professional medical advice from your health care provider. Additional information about the recommended vaccination schedule is available from the CDC or your health care professional.
ACIP Releases Its Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule for 2015: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/288676.php
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older: United States, 2015: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2107750
Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule 2015: http://annals.org/data/Journals/AIM/932718/9ff1_Figure_1_Recommended_adult_immunization_schedule_by_vaccine_and_age_group_for_adults_aged_1.jpeg
Possible Vaccines for Adults 2015: http://annals.org/data/Journals/AIM/932718/9ff2_Figure_2_Vaccines_that_might_be_indicated_for_adults_aged_19_years_or_older_based_on_medica.jpeg