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I know my kids need regular vaccines and boosters, but are there vaccines and boosters I should have as an adult?

Vaccines aren’t just for kids. From infants to toddlers to young adults to seniors, vaccines save lives at every age.

There’s never been a more important time to make sure your family members are up to date with their vaccinations. It’s one of the surefire ways to protect you and your loved ones from serious infections and diseases.

Most Florida Blue health plans cover those important vaccinations at no extra cost when using an in-network doctor or pharmacy. They are also available at vaccine clinics at Florida Blue Centers throughout the state for all members of the community. 

Take a look at some of the vaccinations you may need to keep you safe and healthy. Remember to check with your doctor first.

  • COVID-19 vaccine and boosters: COVID-19 primary series vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older, and COVID-19 boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older, if eligible. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have specific recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults age 65 years and older receive an additional dose of this season’s COVID-19 vaccine to provide added protection. Most COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations last year were among people age 65 years and older.
  • Flu shot: Most people age 6 months and older should get a flu shot. It’s especially important for people with chronic conditions who are at high risk of serious complications from the flu.
  • Pneumonia vaccine: Pneumococcal disease is common in young children and poses a risk of serious illness and even death in older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends most children younger than 2 and adults age 65 years and older get the vaccination each year.
  • Shingles vaccine: Shingles is a painful condition that affects the nerves and causes blisters and a rash with a burning sensation. One of the best ways to prevent shingles is with the two-dose vaccine given six months apart. Most adults age 50 years and older should get vaccinated.
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine: The CDC has reported a recent increase in cases of Measles across the country. This two-dose vaccine protects children, teens and adults. Children ages 1 to 6 should get the measles vaccine as part of their routine vaccination schedule, based on their doctor’s recommendation. The first dose should be administered at 12 to 15 months old and the second dose when a child is age 4 to 6 years old. Teens and most adults who didn’t get the measles vaccine as a child should get at least one dose. Individuals with chronic diseases and other immunocompromising issues are at highest risk. Adults who are going to be in a high-risk setting (healthcare workers or international travelers) should make sure they have had two doses separated by at least 28 days. Adults born before 1957 (before the vaccine was available), should talk with their doctor about getting a lab test to confirm past infection and immunity.
  • Tdap vaccines are available that can help prevent whooping cough, also known as pertussis. Whooping cough is a respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria. The CDC recommends whooping cough vaccination for all babies and children, preteens and teens, and pregnant women. Adults who have never received a dose of Tdap should also get vaccinated against pertussis. Talk with your or your child’s health care professional if you have questions about whooping cough vaccines


I know vaccines are important for babies and preschoolers, but are there routine vaccines my older children should have?

As parents, we do our best to keep our kids healthy and safe. Vaccines help us do this. While infants and toddlers get regular routine vaccines throughout early childhood, don’t forget about your adolescents.

In fact, there are certain vaccines that specifically focus on this age group, including:

  • Meningococcal vaccines protect against a type of bacteria that can cause serious illnesses. The two most common types of illnesses include infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream. All preteens should get the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY). Teens may also receive a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (MenB).
  • The HPV vaccine protects both girls and boys from future infections that can lead to certain types of cancer, like cervical, mouth, throat, and other cancers of the reproductive system. Children will need two doses of this vaccine and can start as early as 9 years old. Two doses needed if series is started prior to 15th birthday. Three doses for older adolescents.
  • Tdap vaccine protects against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).


I’ve been hearing about the HPV vaccine for my preteens. Why is it important they get the series at this age?

HPV vaccination is a preventive measure that helps protect against certain strains of the virus and can significantly reduce the risk of developing HPV-related cancers, like cervical, mouth, throat, and other cancers of the reproductive system.

The HPV vaccine is typically given in a series of two or three shots, depending on the specific vaccine being used. The vaccine is most effective when given to individuals who have not yet been exposed to HPV.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children between the ages of 11 and 12 years receive the HPV vaccine, with catch-up vaccination recommended for individuals up to age 26 who have not completed the vaccine series.


If I’m behind on my shots, where can I go to get them?

Our Florida Blue Centers host vaccine clinics throughout the flu season. In addition to your annual flu shot, you can also get COVID-19, Shingrix (for shingles), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, pneumonia and Tdap shots. Find a vaccine clinic near you at You can also call 877-352-5830 to speak to a care nurse.


I’ve heard a lot about vaccine safety. How do I know the vaccines I’m getting, or my children are getting, are safe?

Vaccines are both safe and effective at preventing serious diseases. They work with your body’s natural defenses to help safely develop protection from diseases. Vaccines go through extensive testing before they are approved and are monitored afterward to ensure their safety.  Learn more about the safeguards that ensure the vaccines we need are safe. Like all medical products, vaccines can cause side effects. The most common side effects are mild and go away quickly. 



I’ve heard a lot about coronavirus (COVID-19) and the COVID-19 vaccines, but what are the diseases the other vaccines protect us from?

Vaccines are one of the main reasons we’re able to live longer these days. They protect us from serious illnesses and complications from vaccine-preventable diseases. The newest vaccine is to protect us from becoming seriously ill from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a viral respiratory illness caused by the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). You can find more information on the COVID-19 vaccines here.

Other routine vaccinations protect against these 14 diseases:


Flu (Influenza)

Pneumococcal Disease

Hepatitis B


Hepatitis A








Still not sure what vaccinations you need? Here’s a helpful chart to help you see what vaccines are needed for both kids and adults, depending on their age and/or health condition.



I’m pregnant. Are there vaccines I should have now, or should I wait until my baby is born?

By staying up to date with vaccines before and during pregnancy, you can pass along immunity that will help protect your baby from some diseases during the first few months after birth. The CDC recommends these vaccines:

  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine at least a month before becoming pregnant.
  • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine during the third trimester of every pregnancy.
  • Yearly seasonal flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.
  • COVID-19 vaccine at any point in pregnancy, as well as booster doses for those who are eligible.



I heard I need to be up to date on my vaccines before I’m around my new grandchild. Is this true?

If you’re an expectant grandparent, you may need a pertussis or whooping cough vaccine before holding that new bundle of joy. Newborns don’t have a fully developed immune system and are too young for certain vaccines. This makes them particularly vulnerable to infections. Because of this, anyone who is around babies should be up to date on all routine vaccines, including:

  • Whooping cough vaccine (DTaP for children and Tdap for preteens, teens, and adults)
  • Flu vaccine during flu season



Is it OK to get my COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time I get my annual flu shot?

Yes, you can get a flu vaccine at the same time you get a COVID-19 vaccine, including a COVID-19 booster shot. If you have concerns about getting both vaccines at the same time, you should speak with a health care provider.



Do I really need a flu shot this year if I had one last year?

It’s important to get your flu shot every year. Viruses change, so the best way to fight the latest strain is with the latest vaccine. Flu vaccines are overwhelmingly safe and are available for most people 6 months and older. A flu shot is vital for high-risk groups, including seniors, children and pregnant women. High risk also includes people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, heart disease and diabetes.

Most Florida Blue members can get their flu shot at no-extra cost from an in-network doctor or pharmacy. Many communities plan events to ensure those eligible have access to a flu vaccine.


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