Vaccines? Aren't those just for kids?
Just because you turn 18, it doesn't mean the need for vaccination is over. The vaccinations you received in childhood will not protect you for the rest of your life and new vaccines are always a possibility. As an adult, you still need vaccines to stay healthy and to protect others in your home. It is each person's responsibility to keep vaccine preventable diseases at bay.
What vaccines do I need as an adult?
- Seasonal Influenza (Flu): The flu is a seasonal contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. This vaccine is recommended annually and is available as a shot or a mist. Please see our Flu Vaccine Page for more information.
- Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis aka whopping cough): A booster vaccine is recommended as an adult. In addition, a booster is recommended during each pregnancy.
- Shingles (Zoster): recommended for adults 60 years and older.
- HPV (Human Papilloma Virus): This three dose series is recommended for males and females ages 11-16, however the vaccine can be administered until age 27.
- Pneumococcal disease:
- Meningococcal: A booster dose should be given between the ages of 16-18; however, the disease has the highest rates up to age 21, so if you did not receive a booster by age 18, please do so now.
- Hepatitis A, B
Stages of Life
At different times of your life, different vaccines are recommended.
The transition to adulthood is an exciting time in a young person’s life. Starting a career, getting an apartment, entering college, or joining the armed forces all offer unique rewards and challenges. Yet young adults may not know that some vaccines can make this transitional time a healthier one
The best way for an unborn child to be protected from vaccine preventable diseases is to make sure that mom is up to date! This is called cocooning. While pregnant, it is important for the mother to receive a Tdap booster and a flu vaccine.
What is cocooning?
“Cocooning” is defined as the immunization of family members and close contacts of a newborn. (Global Pertussis Initiative 2011) Cocooning surrounds and protects infants from disease until they have built up immunity through their own immunizations. All people who come into contact with infants should be part of the cocooning for those children.
“Tdap Cocooning” means immunizing everyone a newborn (up to 12 months old) comes in contact with, so none of them transmit pertussis (Whooping Cough) to the vulnerable infant. The infant should also be receiving a DTaP vaccination as part of their immunization schedule, starting at two months, to build immunity over time.
Some hospitals provide Tdap vaccine for only the mother of newborns. This is partial “cocooning.” The newborn is much better protected if both parents are vaccinated prior to leaving the hospital, and all other family members are encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as possible to protect the infant.
It takes 10-14 days for the immune system to build antibodies. Parents and family members are NOT protected from pertussis immediately upon receiving the vaccine and should consider getting a Tdap several weeks or months before the newborn arrives.
The Yolo County Health Department does NOT offer travel vaccines.
Studying abroad or vacationing in another part of the world? Depending on where you're traveling, you may need certain vaccinations. Learn about countries where certain vaccine-preventable disease are more common and if you might need a vaccine before you travel. Travelers Health (CDC) includes information on travel health warnings and immunization recommendations.
If your primary care provider is unable to assist you, here are some additional information and resource regarding traveler's health.
Spring Medical Clinic (locations in West Sacramento and Natomas)
UCDavis Travel Clinic (located in Sacramento)
Passport Health (locations in Sacramento and Roseville)
Please note that the above websites are provided for additional information on travel vaccines and are not monitored or endorsed by Yolo County.