The 6 Vaccines All Parents (and Grandparents) Need

Shingles and Pneumonia Vaccines

HERPES ZOSTER (SHINGLES) VACCINE

Why You Need It: Your childhood chickenpox virus can reactivate as shingles during adulthood, resulting in nerve pain that lasts for months or even years. People infected with shingles can pass the chickenpox virus to unvaccinated children.

Get It If:

  • You're age 60 or older.

Skip It If:

  • You're allergic to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin.
  • Your immune system is severely compromised due to HIV/AIDS or cancer.

PNEUMOCOCCAL POLYSACCHARIDE OR PPSV (PNEUMONIA) VACCINE

Why You Need It: More than 1 million Americans are hospitalized with pneumonia every year. Infants, young children, and older adults are highly vulnerable to the pneumococcus bacteria, which cause pneumonia, meningitis, and blood infections. Pregnant women have an increased risk of premature labor.

Get It If:

  • You're age 65 or older.
  • You have a serious health problem like kidney failure, lymphoma or leukemia, cancer or HIV/AIDS.
  • You smoke.
  • You've had your spleen damaged or removed.

Skip It If:

  • You're age 64 or younger and in good health.

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