When it comes to vaccines, flu shots get most of the attention. And while many adults get their annual flu shot, they may skip other important vaccinations, leaving themselves vulnerable to serious illness.
Some people think that being immunized as a child equals protection for life. But defense against diseases like pertussis (whooping cough) or tetanus may wear off over time. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends boosters after an initial childhood series.
Plus, we get more susceptible to certain illnesses, such as shingles and pneumococcal disease, as we age. Just as young children need specific age-related immunizations, so do adults.
It’s a Shot in the Arm (Literally)
The specific vaccines that are appropriate for you are based on your age, job, lifestyle, health conditions, where you travel and which vaccinations you’ve had in the past. The most commonly recommended adult vaccines* include:
- Seasonal influenza (flu)
- Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
- One dose if you have never received
- Td booster every 10 years following Tdap vaccine
- One dose for women during each pregnancy
- Shingles (Shingrix vaccine for adults age 50 and older)
- Pneumococcal disease (for adults 65 years and older, or those who are at risk because of certain health conditions)
Your annual physical exam is a great time to talk to your doctor about immunizations that are right for you.
See What’s Covered by Your Medical Plan
All the UC PPO plans cover recommended immunizations based on Anthem’s preventive care guidelines. Other vaccines might also be covered based on your specific health needs. The plans also cover many common travel vaccines, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningitis and polio.
If you have questions about what’s covered or how to find an in-network provider, call Anthem Health Guide, toll-free, at (844) 437-0486, Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Pacific).
*Source: Centers for Disease Control