Vaccine Recommendations for Adults with Chronic Lung Conditions

VaccineThe month of August marks National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), a time to recognize and promote the importance of vaccinations in preventing serious – and sometimes deadly – diseases. And kids aren’t the only members of the community that need to be vaccinated; adults with chronic lung diseases also need protection.

Vaccines for Lung Disease: Which Vaccines Do You Need?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following vaccines are critical for people with asthma, COPD, and other chronic lung diseases, unless your healthcare provider tells you that you cannot safely receive the vaccine or that you don’t need it:

  • Influenza – commonly known as the flu shot; one dose needed each year to protect against seasonal flu.
  • TDAP – protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough); one dose recommended for all adults who have not been previously vaccinated followed by a TD booster every 10 years.
  • Zoster (shingles) – one dose recommended for all adults 60 years of age and older.
  • Varicella (chickenpox) – two doses recommended for all adults who have not been previously vaccinated or who have never had the chicken pox.
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)1 or 2 doses recommended for all adults who have not been previously vaccinated.
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax) protects against 23 types of bacterial pneumonia; a single dose is recommended for all adults age 65 years and older and adults under 65 who have a chronic lung disease or other long-term health condition.  In certain circumstances, a second dose is recommended; talk to your doctor to determine if you need a second dose.

How You Can Help Spread the Word

One of the goals of NIAM is to raise awareness about vaccines and share strategies to increase immunization rates within our communities. If you’re ready to help spread the word, consider the following ideas:


Author: Deborah Leader RN, BSN, PHN


Photo Credit: Flickr, alvi2047, Flu vaccine

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