Lung Disease including Asthma

Each year thousands of adults in the United States get sick from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines — some people are hospitalized, and some even die. People with asthma or COPD are at higher risk for serious problems from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Getting vaccinated is an important step in staying healthy. If you have lung disease, talk with your doctor about getting your vaccinations up-to-date.

Why Vaccines are Important for You

• Adults with COPD or asthma are more likely to get complications from the flu.
• COPD and asthma cause your airways to swell and become blocked with mucus, which can make it hard to breathe. Certain vaccine preventable diseases can also increase swelling of your airways and lungs. The combination of the two can lead to pneumonia and other serious respiratory illnesses.
• Vaccines are one of the safest ways for you to protect your health, even if you are taking prescription medications. Vaccine side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Severe side effects are very rare.
• Immunization provides the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccines You Need:

Influenza Vaccine
To protect against seasonal flu every year

Pneumococcal Vaccine
To protect against pneumonia

Tdap Vaccine
To protect against whooping cough and tetanus

Zoster Vaccine
To protect against shingles

There may be other vaccines recommended for you based on lifestyle, travel, and other factors. Talk with your healthcare professional about what is right for you.

Getting Vaccinated
You may regularly see your COPD or asthma specialist, or maybe your primary care provider. Either is a great place to start! If your healthcare professional does not offer the vaccines you need, ask for a referral so you can get the vaccines elsewhere. Adults can get vaccines at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, workplaces, community health clinics, health departments and other locations. To find a place near you to get a vaccine, go to Most health insurance plans cover recommended vaccines. Check with your insurance provider for details and for a list of vaccine providers covered by your plan. If you do not have health insurance, visit to learn more about health insurance options.

For the most updated information from the CDC click here.