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Adult Immunizations

Person receives immunization

Print the full article here!

What are immunizations?

Immunizations are shots with medicine that protect you from different diseases.

  • Immunizations are also called vaccinations.

When you get an immunization, you decrease your chances of getting sick.

To learn more about how Shots Can Keep You Healthy, click here!

There are immunizations for many different types of diseases.

People may get immunizations for:

  • Flu
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
  • Tetanus and Diphtheria
  • Pneumonia
  • Chickenpox and Shingles

Which immunizations do I need?

That depends on:

  • Whether you are a man or a woman
  • How old you are
  • Immunizations you have already received
  • Diseases you are at risk for

To read the Vaccination Guidelines for Adults, click here!

Ask your doctor about which immunizations you should get.

Your doctor will probably:

  • Look at your medical records
  • Review your health history
  • Talk to you
  • Recommend which immunizations you need

Some immunizations last for many years; some you need to get each year.

For instance, most people get a flu vaccine every year.

Other immunizations, like tetanus, you only need to get once every 10 years.

Getting immunizations is a life-long process

What happens when I get an immunization?

Most immunizations are given in an injection.

The doctor or nurse will give you a shot, usually in your arm.

After you receive an immunization:

The area where you got the shot may feel sore, red, or swollen.

  • Other parts of your body may also feel sore.

You may feel warm. This may mean that you have a low fever.

Tell someone immediately if:

  • You feel dizzy
  • You have trouble breathing
  • You get pink or red bumps on your skin (hives)
  • Your heart starts beating very quickly

You can keep track of your immunizations!

You can use this card to write down which immunizations you have received.

Bring this card with you whenever you visit your doctor.

  • Your doctor can help you fill it out

Learn more ways to lower your risk for disease on the DDS Safety Net.

Staying Healthy: Preventive Health Care Guidelines for Adults

Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices

You can also learn more about immunizations from these resources:

CDC: Vaccines and Immunizations

California Department of Health Services, Immunization Branch

  • Ask your doctor

These tools will help you decide which immunizations you should ask your doctor about.

  • Check out this list to learn which immunizations may be right for you.
  • You can also take this quiz.
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ENGLISH-HP_Immunizations.pdf 496.68 KB
Last updated on Thu, 06/17/2010 - 14:43