Why get vaccinated?

Adenovirus vaccine can prevent infection with some types of adenovirus.

Adenoviruses can cause illness that is usually mild, but can be serious in some cases. People with weakened immune systems, or existing lung or heart disease, are at higher risk of developing severe illness from an adenovirus infection.

Adenovirus infection can cause:

  • Common cold or flu-like symptoms
  • ‚‚Fever
  • ‚‚Sore throat
  • ‚‚Acute bronchitis (inflammation of the airways of the lungs, sometimes called a “chest cold”)
  • ‚‚Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
  • ‚‚Diarrhea
  • ‚‚Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Infection with adenovirus can also rarely lead to more serious problems, such as severe pneumonia or neurologic disease (conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord), and even death. Some people who are infected may have to be hospitalized.

Adenoviruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands, through the air by coughing and sneezing, or through handling objects that an infected person has touched. Some adenoviruses can spread through an infected person’s stool, for example, during diaper changing. Adenovirus can also spread through the water, such as in swimming pools, but this is less common.

Certain adenovirus types (including Type 4 and Type 7) have caused severe outbreaks of respiratory illness among military recruits.

Adenovirus vaccine

Adenovirus vaccine is only available for United States military personnel. There is currently no adenovirus vaccine available to the general public.

Adenovirus vaccine contains live adenovirus Type 4 and Type 7. It will prevent most illness caused by these two virus types.

The vaccine comes as two tablets, taken orally (by mouth) at the same time. The tablets should be swallowed whole, not chewed or crushed.

The vaccine is approved for military personnel 17 through 50 years of age. It is recommended by the Department of Defense for military recruits entering basic training. It may also be recommended for other military personnel at high risk for adenovirus infection.

Adenovirus vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

Talk with your health care provider

Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:

  • Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of adenovirus vaccine, or has any severe, lifethreatening allergies.
  • ‚‚Has a weakened immune system.
  • ‚‚Is younger than 17 or older than 50 years.
  • ‚‚Is pregnant or nursing, or planning to become pregnant.
  • ‚‚Is unable to swallow the vaccine tablets whole without chewing them.
  • ‚‚Is currently experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.

In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone adenovirus vaccination to a future visit.

People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting adenovirus vaccine.

Virus from the vaccine can be shed in the stool for up to 28 days after vaccination. To minimize the risk of spreading vaccine virus to other people during this period, observe proper personal hygiene, such as frequent hand washing, especially following bowel movements. This is especially important if you have close contact with children 7 years of age and younger, with anyone having a weakened immune system, or with pregnant women.

Your health care provider can give you more information.

Risks of a vaccine reaction

‚‚Headache, upper respiratory tract infection, stuffy nose, sore throat, abdominal pain, cough, nausea, diarrhea, fever or joint pain can happen after adenovirus vaccine.

More serious problems including blood in the urine or stool, pneumonia, or inflammation of the stomach or intestines occur rarely after adenovirus vaccination.

As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other
serious injury, or death.

What if there is a serious problem?

An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness), call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital.

For other signs that concern you, call your health care provider.

Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your health care provider will usually file this report, or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website at www.vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff do not give medical advice.

How can I learn more?‚

  • Ask your health care provider.
  • ‚‚Call your local or state health department.
  • ‚‚Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
    • Call 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO) or
    • Visit CDC’s adenovirus website at www.cdc.gov/adenovirus