Did you miss one, some, or all of the immunizations on the Center for Disease Control’s recommended vaccination schedule? It’s not too late. Follow these steps to get up to date in a safe, timely manner.
Determine What You’re Missing
The CDC has great resources to help you determine the vaccines you need. Use this chart or questionnaire to see what immunizations you should have. If possible, get access to your medical records to find out what doses you missed. If you don’t have access to medical records, try to remember what doses you have (but be sure to disclose this to a healthcare professional before you start a new regimen). A parent or guardian might help you track down these records, or confirm that you’re remembering correctly.
Determine Your Risks
You may have a health condition or demographic status that makes certain shots riskier for you than the general population. For example, those 65 and older should avoid the intradermal flu shot, while pregnant women should avoid many vaccines until after birth. It’s vital to determine how your age, health, and lifestyle might put you at risk before getting vaccinated.
Talk to a Healthcare Professional
It’s a must to talk to a doctor, nurse, or other health professional before you begin your new vaccination regimen. Bring in your list of risk factors, missed shots, and any questions you have after doing your research. Together, the two of you can determine what shots you need and when you need them.
Congratulations, you’re ready to go! Ask the healthcare professional about the best places in your community to get the immunizations you need. Doctors’ offices, clinics, and pharmacies are great places to start. Worried about paying for all these doses? Check out our guide to paying for vaccines when you’re uninsured or underinsured.