Get Shots to Protect Your Health (Adults Age 50 or Older)

The Basics
Get important shots to protect your health as you get older.

Take Action!
Make a plan to get your shots.

Start Today: Small Steps

The Basics

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Older adults need to get shots (vaccines) to prevent serious diseases. Protect your health by getting all your shots on schedule.

If you're age 50 or older:

If you're age 65 or older:

It’s also important for all adults to:

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about other shots you may need to stay healthy.

Why do I need to get these shots?

Shots help protect you from diseases that can be serious – and sometimes deadly. Many of these diseases are common, but vaccines can prevent them. 

Even if you have always gotten your shots on schedule, you still need to get some shots as an older adult. This is because:

Getting your shots also protects other people.

When you get shots, you don’t just protect yourself – you also protect others. This is especially important if you spend time around anyone with a long-term health problem or a weakened immune system (the system in the body that fights infections).

Protect yourself and people around you by staying up to date on your shots. Find out how getting your shots helps protect people in your community.

Learn more about some of the recommended shots for adults. Watch this short video to learn about pneumococcal vaccines:

And check out these short videos to learn more about:

Do I need any other shots to help me stay healthy?

You may need other shots if you:

And you may need other shots if you work in a:

Ask your doctor or nurse if you need any other shots. You can also use this tool to find out which shots you may need.

Take Action!

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Talk with a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about getting up to date on your shots.

Make a plan to get your shots.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor or nurse to get the shots you need. You may also be able to get shots at your local pharmacy.

Use this vaccine clinic locator External Links Disclaimer Logo to find out where you can get shots.

Get a seasonal flu shot every year.

Remember, everyone age 6 months and older needs to get the seasonal flu vaccine every year.

What about cost?

Under the Affordable Care Act, most private insurance plans must cover recommended shots for adults. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get your shots at no cost to you.

Medicare also covers most recommended shots for older adults, depending on your plan.  Use this tool to see what Medicare covers.

If you don’t have insurance, you still may be able to get free shots.

To learn about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit

Keep a copy of your vaccination record.

Ask your doctor to print out a record of all the shots you've had. Keep this record in a safe place. You may need it for certain jobs or if you travel outside the United States.

If you're not sure which shots you’ve had,  try these tips for finding old vaccination records. If you still can’t find a record of your shots, talk with your doctor about getting some shots again.

Start Today: Small Steps

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