Recommended immunizations

The following includes information about immunizations we recommend:

T-dap

T-dap is the vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (otherwise known as “whooping cough”). Adolescents and adults should be receive a tetanus booster every 10 years.  T-dap should be given once in place of a regular booster.  It can also be given sooner than 10 years after the last Td booster.

Meningococcal Vaccine

As of 2010, the “Meningitis” vaccine is given in 2 shots.  First-year college students living in a residential hall should get a booster dose if their first dose was given before age 16.

HPV: Human Papilloma Virus

HPV vaccine is given as a 3-dose series to females and males ages 9-26 years.

Influenza (“flu”) vaccine

Influenza vaccine is recommended for all individuals over the age of 6 months.  The vaccine is given annually between the months of September and March in the northern hemisphere.  

Other immunizations

Hepatitis “A”

Hepatitis A vaccine is administered as a 2-dose series given at least 6 months apart.  It is recommended if you are at a higher risk of exposure, such as upcoming travel.  Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is spread by close personal contact and by eating food or drinking water containing HAV.

Hepatitis “B”

Hepatitis B vaccine is administered as a 3-dose series normally beginning at birth with the second dose given at 1-2 months of age and the third does at 6-18 months of age.  The schedule is the same for adults who have not been vaccinated (day 1, 1-2 months later, 6-18 months after the first injection).

(TWINRIX vaccine contains both Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines and is also a 3-dose series)

Varicella

Also known as “chickenpox”, this vaccine is recommended if you have never had the chickenpox.  It is a 2-dose series administered 28 days apart

MMR:  Measles/Mumps/Rubella

For adults who have not received this vaccine, it is a 2-dose series given 28 days apart (proof of immunity to the measles virus is required for entry into elementary through college-age students).

Polio

Most adults already received this vaccine during childhood.  A booster is required for travel to certain countries.  It is a 1-dose injection.

Shingles

The Shingles virus is caused by the same virus, Varicella Zoster, as chickenpox.  Only someone who has had chickenpox can get Shingles.  The CDC has historically recommended the vaccine to adults 60 years and older.  The FDA approved the use of the vaccine to adults 50-59 in 2011.  It is a 1-dose vaccine.

Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal vaccine is usually given to adults 65 years and older.  It is also given to children and adults with long-term/chronic health problems or immune deficiencies.  It is usually a 1-dose injection but under certain circumstances a second dose is recommended.

Japanese Encephalitis

The vaccine is administered as a 2-dose series, 1 month apart, for those 17 years and older, traveling to Asia where JE occurs (or are unsure of travel plans).

Typhoid

Typhoid vaccine can either be given as an injection of a “killed” virus or by a live “weakened” form given as pills.  The injectable vaccine is 1 dose with a booster every 2 years for people remaining at risk.  The pills are given in 4 doses:  days 1, 3, 5 and 7.

Tuberculosis skin test (“PPD”or Mantoux)

Skin-testing for tuberculosis (TB) is done on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays (not Thursdays).  A person having the PPD test done must return within 48-72 hours to have the test read.  (If the reading is missed, there is a 7 day wait period before the test can be administered again at the person’s own expense).  TB blood testing is the preferred method of TB infection testing for those people who have received the “BCG” vaccine and those who have a difficult time returning for a second appointment to look for a reaction to the skin test.