Most adult tribal members believe that vaccines are important. Yet, many adult members may not realize that they need vaccines throughout their lives to be protected. The result is that each year many members may suffer needlessly from illnesses, hospitalizations and death that could be prevented simply by being vaccinated.
Vaccines and the diseases they prevent are a very important part of your health care. Let’s start with those vaccines that are recommended for all adult tribal members:
- Influenza: All adults need a seasonal flu vaccine every year – especially those with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, and Native Elders.
- Tdap/Td: Every adult should receive one dose of Tdap if they did not have the vaccine previously to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years. Women should get the Tdap vaccine with each pregnancy preferably between 27 and 36-weeks gestation. Adults who have close contact with young children, newborns and infants who have not had a dose of Tdap vaccine previously should get a Tdap booster.
Additional vaccines for healthy adults 50 years and older:
- Shingles: Two doses (separated by two to six months) of the vaccine Shingrix, even if they have had shingles or the Zostavax shingles vaccine in the past.
Additional vaccines for adults 65 years and older:
- Pneumococcal: One dose of PPSV23. CDC also recommends one dose of PCV13 based on shared clinical decision making and if no immunodeficiency.
Here is a list of other adult vaccines that may be needed based on your age, health conditions, job, lifestyle or travel habits:
- Varicella (Chickenpox): All adults who have never had chickenpox or received the varicella vaccine should be vaccinated;
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR): Adults born during or after 1957 who have not had measles, mumps or rubella or received the MMR vaccine should be immunized;
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV): All adolescents and young adults up to 26 years of age who have not been previously vaccinated;
- Hepatitis A: Vaccination is recommended for adults traveling to countries with moderate to high rates of hepatitis A, have been exposed to contaminated food or water or come in contact with an infected person;
- Hepatitis B: Adults who have been exposed to contact with blood or bodily fluids in settings with risk factors such as exposure or contact with an infected person.
Please check with your healthcare professional to find out what vaccines are recommended in your specific situation and to make sure you are up to date on recommended vaccines. You can also visit the Adult Vaccine Self-Assessment Tool at https://www.nfid.org/immunization/us-vaccination-recommendations/adult-vaccine-assessment-tool/ to find out which vaccines you may need.
The cost for adult vaccines is typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid, most health insurance providers and by Samish Purchased and Referred Care.
For more information regarding recommended vaccines for adults, please visit the CDC’s webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/index.html.
The information in this report is compiled from the CDC and various government agencies and is not a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider.