Live attenuated vaccines elicit stronger protective immunity than dead vaccines. Distinct PAMPs designated as vita-PAMPs signify microbial viability to innate immune cells. Two vita-PAMPs have been characterized: cyclic-di-adenosine-monophosphate (c-di-AMP) and prokaryotic messenger RNA (mRNA). c-di-AMP produced by live Gram-positive bacteria elicits augmented production of STING-dependent type-I interferon, whereas prokaryotic mRNA from live bacteria is detected by TLR8 enabling discrimination of live from dead bacteria. Bacterial mRNA from live Gram-negative bacteria triggers a heightened type-I interferon and NLRP3 inflammasome response. By mobilizing unique viability-associated innate responses, vita-PAMPs mobilize adaptive immunity that best elicits protection, including follicular T helper cell and antibody responses. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms that confer the unique adjuvanticity of vita-PAMPs and discuss their applications in vaccine design.