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Chronic Diseases

Chronic health conditions can increase your risk of serious complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases, including long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death. This is true, even if you feel healthy and your condition is under control. You can do a lot to manage your condition, and vaccinations is one important step in staying healthy.

Some of the most common conditions that can lead to complications are:

  • Diabetes: The CDC recommends people with diabetes get pneumococcal vaccines, once as an adult before 65 years of age and then two more doses at 65 years or older; a yearly flu vaccine, and a hepatitis B vaccine series if they’re between the age 19 and 59. If you are 60 years or older, talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you need a hepatitis B vaccine. People with diabetes might also need a Tdap vaccination to prevent against pertussis (whooping cough) and a zoster vaccination to protect against shingles if they are 60 years or older.
  • Asthma, COPD and Other Lung Conditions: The CDC recommends people with asthma, COPD, or other lung conditions get a yearly flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccines, once as an adult before 65 years of age and then two more doses at 65 years or older. People with asthma or COPD might also need a Tdap vaccination to prevent against pertussis (whooping cough) and a zoster vaccination to protect against shingles if they are 60 years or older.
  • Heart Disease: The CDC recommends people with heart disease get a yearly flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccines, once as an adult before 65 years of age and then two more doses at 65 years or older. People with heart disease might also need a Tdap vaccination to prevent against pertussis (whooping cough) and a zoster vaccination to protect against shingles if they are 60 years or older.

To learn more about which vaccines you may need, talk to your healthcare provider.

Additional Resources

What You Need to Know About Diabetes and Adult Vaccines (CDC Handout)

What You Need to Know About Heart Disease and Adult Vaccines (CDC Handout)

What You Need to Know About COPD, Asthma and Adult Vaccines (CDC Handout)