Do adults need booster shots?

Expert insight:

As long as you get a Tdap vaccination as a kid, you should be protected for life, says study author Mark Slifka, Ph.D., professor at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. This is in line with the World Health Organization's stance on booster shots, though it has yet to be adopted in the United States. 

There are a couple exceptions: Every woman should get a booster shot during every pregnancy, Slifka says. Doing so protects the infant from becoming infected when they’re too young to be vaccinated. If you’re traveling to a country with a diphtheria outbreak, ask your doctor if a booster is recommended.

The bottom line:

Even though the new research finds little need for booster shots, it absolutely advocates for childhood Tdap vaccinations, Slifka notes.