Splash photo

Don't wait. Vaccinate!

We all need shots (also called vaccinations or immunizations) to help protect us from serious diseases. National Immunization Awareness Month in August is a great time to learn more about vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots1.

Even if you were vaccinated when you were younger, protection from some vaccines can wear off or the virus or bacteria that the vaccine protects against changes so your resistance is not as strong. As you age, you may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases due to your age, job, hobbies, travel, or chronic health condition2.

There are many reasons to get vaccinated, here are just a few3.

  • You may be at increased risk for complications from certain diseases if you have a chronic health condition or weakened immune system. Adults with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. These complications can include long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death.
  • You can help protect those who can't get vaccinated. People with certain medical conditions (like pregnant women or people undergoing cancer treatment) may not be able to get certain vaccines, but are very vulnerable to illness. Vaccines can help prevent the spread of contagious diseases to them. For example, newborns that are too young to get vaccinated for whooping cough are also most at risk of severe illness from the disease. In cases where the source is known, 4 out of 5 babies caught the disease from someone in the home - a parent, sister or brother, grandparent, or babysitter.
  • You don't want to miss what's important to you. Spending time with family and friends or taking time out for your hobbies may not be possible if you get sick. Vaccines can help you stay healthy and enjoy the things you like to do.
  • You don't want to pay the price of getting sick. Adults who get a vaccine-preventable disease face the financial costs of medical visits and treatment, in addition to other costs like taking time off work, hiring babysitters, and traveling to and from healthcare professionals.
  • You like to travel - or have to travel for work. Travel can present exciting opportunities, but it can also put you at risk for certain diseases. Make sure you only bring back great memories, not illness! If you are going to travel internationally, you might need additional vaccines. See the vaccinations and travel checklist.

Did you know that adults need vaccines too? If you didn't, you are not alone.

CDC recommends that all adults get the following vaccines2:

For this month’s challenge, we encourage you to take this brief, online Vaccine Quiz4 to help you understand what vaccines you may need. Then print your results and discuss them with your doctor or health care professional next time you make an office visit.


  1. Healthfinder.gov National Immunization Awareness Month
  2. CDC Adult Vaccinations: An Important Step in Protecting Your Health
  3. CDC 10 Reasons To Get Vaccinated
  4. Adolescent and Adult Vaccine Quiz