What You Should Know About the 2024 Adult Vaccine Schedule

What You Should Know About the 2024 Adult Vaccine Schedule
12.01.2024

The 2024 adult immunization schedule includes a few updated recommendations for the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), mpox, COVID-19, and meningitis, among others.

When you go to your healthcare provider this year, you might get some new vaccine recommendations based on the updates recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices officially signed off on the guidelines on January 11.

“This is really the best and most up-to-date evidence-based information for vaccinations and public health and disease prevention, so I do follow it,” Shengyi Mao, MD, a clinical associate professor of internal medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Verywell.

Here are some of the most important changes to the adult vaccine schedule in 2024.

The New Schedule Includes Mpox and Meningococcal Vaccines

The mpox vaccine (Jynneos) was added to the immunization schedule for adults 18 and older with certain sexual risk factors. Two shots are administered 28 days apart.1 This vaccine protects against mpox (previously called monkeypox), a rare viral infection that can cause severe illness or death in people with weakened immune systems.2

Adding the two-dose mpox vaccine to the routine recommendation was one of the biggest changes to the 2024 adult vaccination schedule, according to Laura P. Hurley, MD, MPH, a primary care physician and health services researcher at Denver Health.

The new schedule also reflects the updated guidance on Pfizer’s new pentavalent meningococcal vaccine. This vaccine, called Penbraya, is the first one to target five bacterial strains that can cause meningitis and blood poisoning.

Previously, people would have to receive two different vaccines—MenACWY and MenB. Penbraya is now an option for people who would otherwise be eligible to receive MenACWY and MenB during the same visit.3

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RSV Shot Is Recommended for People Who Are Pregnant or 60 and Older

Updates to the RSV vaccine were also notable, Hurley said. RSV is a common respiratory infection that can be deadly for infants and people older than 60.

The vaccine schedule now also includes routine seasonal RSV vaccination (September-January) for people who are between 32 and 36 weeks pregnant.

“Either a maternal RSV vaccination or an infant immunization is recommended to prevent RSV lower respiratory tract infections in infants,” Hurley told Verywell in an email.

People who are older than 60 can discuss with their healthcare providers whether the one-dose RSV shot (Abrysvo or Arexvy) is necessary for them, according to Mao.

“We would decide whether or not the patient should receive the vaccine after discussion of the risks and benefits,” Mao said.

Bivalent COVID-19 Shots Are Out. Update COVID Vaccines Are In

The bivalent mRNA COVID-19 booster vaccine was removed from the 2024 schedule. It’s now replaced by the updated COVID-19 vaccine formula that targets Omicron XBB.15.

Similar to the flu, there have been shifts in the version of the COVID-19 virus that is circulating, Mao said.

“The older version of the vaccine doesn’t protect people against the current strains, so that one has been updated to be more up-to-date with what is seen in the community,” Mao said.

People who have already received a previous version of the COVID-19 vaccine can receive one dose of the updated version eight weeks after their last shot.

Takeaway Note

The 2024 adult vaccination schedule now includes new vaccines that protect against RSV, mpox, and meningitis. At your next routine checkup, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should get some of the vaccines that are recommended.

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