published Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Ask a Doctor: Do young adults need to worry about vaccinations?

Q: Do young adults need to worry about vaccinations?

A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that adults older than 19 should get vaccinated with Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) at least two weeks before coming into close contact with an infant. Due to recent outbreaks of pertussis, all adults should obtain a pertussis/tetanus booster every 10 years. The pertussis/tetanus vaccine can be given no matter when the last tetanus/diphtheria shot was last received. Both the flu and the pertussis/tetanus vaccines are available at health departments, local pharmacies and most doctors' offices.

-- Dr. Nita Shumaker, pediatrician, Galen Medical Group; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, email it to Clint Cooper at See this space each week for answers, or go online to

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