Beyond the Bench: Advancing Vaccine Protection for Adults

October 22, 2019

This video is sponsored by VaxServe, a Sanofi Pasteur company.

This video is sponsored by VaxServe, a Sanofi Pasteur company.

Interviewer: Welcome to Beyond the Bench. Today, we’re talking about important vaccines for adult patients. We’re pleased to welcome 2 professionals—Pharmacist Jamie Ryan and Pharmacy Technician Craig Madison. Jamie and Craig, can you tell us about adult vaccinations and your roles as pharmacists and health counselors?

Jamie (pharmacist): Yes. We feel very strongly about vaccine protection for our adult patients. This is a need that people often overlook.

The fact is, there are several vaccines that are absolutely essential for adult patients.

Craig (pharmacy technician): There’s a phrase I often think of—"No one should get sick or die from a vaccine-preventable disease.” When a vaccine can help prevent diseases like whooping cough, pneumonia, shingles, and influenza, why not take that measure of prevention?

Jamie: Exactly. I’d say most of our patients don’t give adult vaccines much thought. The exception is the influenza vaccine—most people know that they should get it every year.

Interviewer: What are some of the other vaccines that are important for adult patients?

Jamie: The CDC recommends the Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) for women during each pregnancy and once for adults who haven’t had it before.1

Craig: Several of our patients who are new grandparents have come in asking for the shot—they say they’re not allowed to hold their grandbabies until they get their Tdap vaccination!

Jamie: Another vaccine that people 50 and older ask for is the herpes zoster, or shingles, vaccine. People have heard how painful shingles can be—it can cause postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN, a pain that can last for months or years after the shingles rash goes away.2

Craig: Pneumococcal is another key vaccine. The pneumonia vaccine is recommended for people 65 and older, and also for those younger than 65 who smoke or who have heart disease, COPD or asthma, diabetes, or other chronic conditions that make them especially vulnerable to pneumonia.1,3

Jamie: Our goal is for all patients who need these key vaccines to get them. Other vaccines that physicians may recommend for patients with certain risk factors can include human papillomavirus, or HPV; meningococcal disease; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; chickenpox; and measles, mumps, and rubella.1

Interviewer: Do you think people are getting the message about vaccines they need as adults?

Jamie: I think we have a long way to go in terms of vaccine awareness and motivation to get vaccinated.

(Jamie continues)

We consider adult vaccinations to be one of our most important goals. And we believe that our efforts can make a real difference in the lives—and long-term health—of our patients.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC features: attention adults: you need vaccines too! Accessed July 17, 2019.
  • CDC. Vaccines and preventable diseases: shingles (herpes zoster) vaccination. Accessed July 17, 2019.
  • CDC. Pneumococcal disease: risk factors and transmission. Accessed July 17, 2019.