Adult Vaccine Schedule

Nursing Knowledge

Adult Vaccine Schedule

Vaccines are an important tool for health promotion and disease prevention, especially in the population 65 and older. The adult vaccine schedule outlines recommended immunizations for individuals beyond childhood, addressing the prevention of various infectious diseases. Nurses can use open-ended questions to assess clients’ thoughts and feelings about vaccines and provide evidence-based information to support informed decision-making about vaccine options.
Last updated: December 4, 2023

Table of contents

Recommended vaccines for adults 

Influenza vaccine

Vaccine: influenza inactivated (IIV4) or influenza recombinant (RIV4)

Timing: one dose annually

Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) is not recommended for individuals aged 50 and over.

Shingles vaccine

Vaccine: zoster recombinant (RZV)

Timing: two doses, 2–6 months apart, after age 50

Serologic evidence of prior varicella is not necessary for zoster vaccination.

Pneumonia vaccine

Vaccine: pneumococcal (PCV15, PCV20, PPSV23)

Timing: at age 65, if not given previously or if vaccine history unknown

If PCV15 is given, follow with PPSV23 at least one year later. A shorter interval may be considered for immunocompromised individuals.

Recommended vaccine injection site

The deltoid is the recommended injection site for adult vaccines.

Common vaccine side effects 

Symptoms of vaccine side effects usually last 1–2 days and are mild. Clients should contact their medical provider if symptoms persist, or if more severe symptoms occur.

Common side effects include: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Chills
  • Pain at injection site
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Heat
  • Fatigue


Adult Vaccine Schedule

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Nursing Cheat Sheet

Overview of vaccine recommendations for the over-65 population and common vaccine side effects

Master the topic with a unique study combination of a concise summary paired with video lectures. 

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