question and answer
March 2000
"Could you clarify the need for regular booster shots in adults -- those with all primary and booster shots into their 20s, as well as those older than 60?" asks BRENDA KANE, MD, of Toronto, ON.
Adults who've received full primary courses of vaccines need to be boosted with Td (tetanus/diphtheria) every 10 years. Women of childbearing age should have evidence that they've had primary vaccination against rubella, or show immunity to it. Other than that, vaccinate patients if appropriate -- and according to guidelines -- for influenza, pneumococcus, and hepatitis B virus. Individual occupational and travel risks will dictate whether other vaccines are required. DM
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