6 Better Questions to Ask Your Doctor
What You're Used to Asking: Can I get my flu shot today?
The Smarter Version: In addition to the flu shot, what other vaccines am I due for?
Here's why: "Vaccines don't end when you turn 18," says Wanda Filer, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Adults should get a tetanus shot every 10 years, and these days, it's usually combined with the pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccine. Pertussis can be deadly for infants, and cases among babies have been on the rise in recent years—vaccinating everyone means infants are less likely to come into contact with it. (Whooping cough can also be brutal for adults who contract it, says Filer, potentially causing coughs so violent they can lead to broken ribs.) Then there are pneumonia, shingles, measles, mumps and rubella and hepatitis A vaccines to consider as well. Ask your doctor what you need and when based on your health.