Health Clinician Corner

Vaccines for the Fall And Beyond

Fall season is here and flu clinics are around the corner, it is time to get the flu vaccine.  When the FDA or CDC provide updates about the COVID-19 vaccines, it will also be incorporated into the vaccine clinics.  But don’t forget, there are several other vaccines worth considering as well.  The specifics of vaccines can get confusing, so feel free to reach out and get clarification.

Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication from shingles.  Adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months. Adults 19 years and older who have or will have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix. If needed, people with weakened immune systems can get the second dose 1 to 2 months after the first.  You should get Shingrix even if in the past you had shingles, and/or received Zostavax, or varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.   There is no maximum age for getting Shingrix, so it’s never too late to get the shingles vaccine.

The CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all children younger than 5 years old and all adults 65 years or older. In certain situations, other children and adults should also get pneumococcal vaccines.  For those who have never received any pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, The CDC recommends PCV15 or PCV20 for adults 65 years or older and adults 19 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions or risk factors. If PCV15 is used, this should be followed by a dose of PPSV23.  Adults who received an earlier pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13 or PCV7) should talk with a vaccine provider to learn about available options to complete their pneumococcal vaccine series.   Adults 65 years or older have the option to get PCV20 if they have already received, PCV13 (but not PCV15 or PCV20) at any age, and PPSV23 at or after the age of 65 years old. 


• For most people who need only one dose of influenza vaccine for the season, vaccination should ideally be offered during September or October. However, vaccination should continue throughout the season as long as influenza viruses are circulating.

• Vaccination during July and August is not recommended for most groups. Considerations include:

- For most adults (particularly those aged ≥65 years) and pregnant persons in the first or second trimester, vaccination during July and August should be avoided unless there is concern that later vaccination might not be possible.

- Children 6 months through 8 years who require 2 doses (Figure) should receive the first dose as soon as vaccine is available.

- Vaccination during July and August can be considered for children of any age who require only 1 dose.

- Vaccination in July and August can be considered for pregnant persons who are in the third trimester during those months.

 Finally, do not forget Tdap (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis), Meningococcal, Hepatitis A and B vaccines.  All these can be made available to Lexington seniors at the wellness clinics and at-home for those with mobility issues.