Recommended vaccinations for all adults
If you grew up in Australia you should have received the following vaccinations as a child:
- three doses of a diphtheria-tetanus vaccine that may also have included pertussis (whooping cough), and one booster dose as an adolescent
- three doses of polio vaccine
- two doses of a measles vaccine if you were born after 1966 that may also have included protection against mumps and rubella.
Additional vaccines may have been given as vaccine schedules changed over time or to protect against other diseases.
Some vaccines need a booster to be given later in life in order to top-up the body's immune response from earlier vaccination.
The following vaccines are recommended for all adults in Australia:
Diphtheria and tetanus
A tetanus-diphtheria or diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine is for all adults 50 years and over who haven't received a booster in the previous ten years. If you are in this age group you should have the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine for the added protection against pertussis, but you may have to pay a fee.
Find out more information about influenza and the influenza vaccine.
The pneumococcal vaccine is free for:
- Indigenous people 15 years and over
- non-Indigenous 65 years and over.
If you are a smoker or you have other medical conditions that are predisposed to pneumococcal disease you should get an additional pneumococcal vaccine at a younger age, but you may have to pay a fee.
If you have specific medical conditions, such as you have had your spleen removed or you have chronic heart or lung disease, you should discuss getting an additional vaccination with you general practitioner (GP) or a health professional.
Adult vaccines are available from GPs, Aboriginal health services and some community health centres.
For more information read the pneumococcal vaccination and revaccination guideline NT.
Read more about pneumococcal.
Whooping cough (pertussis)
Find out more information about the whooping cough vaccine.
Find out more about the HPV vaccine.
There is now a vaccine available that can reduce the risk of developing shingles and the long-term pain from chronic nerve pain.
The shingles vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine, which is free as a single dose for all persons 70 to 79 years of age. The vaccine is also recommended, but not funded, for people aged 60 to 69 years and people 80 years over. Discuss the vaccination with your immunisation provider.
The vaccine can also be given to persons 50 to 59 years of age, but it is not known how long the protection will last and if a booster dose will be required. The vaccine is not registered for use in persons under 50 years of age.
The vaccine should not be given to persons who are severely immunocompromised or those who have previously received a chickenpox vaccine. It is not necessary to have a blood test to check for previous chickenpox disease and the vaccine can be given on the same day as other vaccines.
People who wish to be vaccinated should talk to their doctor for a prescription. The vaccine will need to be purchased privately.
For more information contact the Centre for Disease Control.
Last updated: 06 February 2019
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