Do adults need immunisations?

Most of us think of vaccinations as a childhood and teenage experience. However, many vaccines need booster doses throughout adulthood to stay effective and some vaccines not given during childhood may be needed before overseas travel.

The whooping cough vaccine is given as a baby and requires booster doses during childhood. However, a booster dose is also needed at 50 years of age and for all adults 65 years and older. It is also recommended that pregnant women get this vaccine during their third trimester to protect the baby until it is able to get the vaccine at 6 weeks of age. Any adults coming into contact with a baby 6 months or younger should get whooping cough vaccines two weeks before contact with the baby.

The government recommends that adults get the pneumococcal vaccine at 65 years of age. It is also recommended that adults who want to reduce their chance of catching the flu get yearly flu shots during April or May.

Some diseases, such as Yellow Fever, are still around in countries outside of Australia. If you are travelling to these countries you should get the relevant vaccines before leaving. For more information about which vaccinations you should have before travelling, visit or talk to your GP.

If you haven’t had one or more of the vaccines recommended under the Immunise Australia Program, book an appointment with your GP to discuss whether you should have these vaccines and when.

HealthEngine can help you find and book an available appointment with a GP near you. To get started, use our search tool below or download our app from

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