Vaccines - Not Just Kids' Stuff
Have you had your seasonal and annual immunization shots this year? As we age, our vulnerability to infectious illnesses like the flu increases.1 That said, everyone over the age of six months should get the flu shot. Being vaccinated every year helps maintain a good level of immunity and protects against the coming season’s strains of the virus. Vaccination not only protects you if you are exposed to the virus, it also lessens the impact if you do catch it, and helps you do your part to prevent the spread of the virus.
If you are an adult, you should consider vaccinations as a benefit to you. People over 60 or 65 years of age should have pneumococcal and herpes zoster vaccinations. Other important vaccinations – like pertussis or whooping cough – are needed only once as an adult. Protection against tetanus and diphtheria is needed just once every ten years. Flu vaccine, of course, is necessary every year to maintain up-todate protection.2
Adult immunizations to be considered, and who should receive them:
- Chicken pox; people who have not had the vaccine or the disease
- Diphtheria; everyone, every 10 years
- Hepatitis A; people with medical, occupational or lifestyle risks and everyone who wants protection from Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B; people with medical, occupational or lifestyle risks and everyone who wants protection from Hepatitis B
- Herpes zoster; anyone over the age of 50
- HPV; females nine to 26 years
- Influenza; annually for people at high risk of complications from influenza and anyone who wants protection from flu
- Measles; people who have not had the vaccine or the disease
- Meningococcal; people with specific medical conditions and people living in communal residences, including students and military personnel
- Mumps; people who have not had the vaccine or the disease
- Pertussis (whooping cough); everyone, once in adulthood
- Pneumococcal; everyone 65 and over, and people with specific medical conditions
- Rubella (German measles); people who have not had the vaccine or the disease
- Tetanus; everyone, every 10 years
- Travel vaccines; varies by destination – consult a travel health clinic, your doctor, nurse, local public health office or www.travelhealth.gc.ca
Talk your doctor about what you need to keep your immunizations up to date.
Good reasons to get vaccinated:3
- You haven’t checked your immunization record for years, and that means you have not had the vaccines recommended once a decade.
- Your occupation or lifestyle exposes you to infection, and that puts you at increased risk of contagious illnesses.
- You’re a health care provider or caregiver, so you work close to others and are exposed to their germs.
- You have a medical condition, which means you may be more vulnerable to serious complications of illness.
- You’re a parent or grandparent, and the last thing you want to share with children is a preventable illness.
- You’re a gardener or work with soil, and that’s where tetanus lurks.
- You plan to travel to another country, and so may be exposed to many germs you may not have immunity to.
The bottom line : you want the best protection against preventable diseases, and that’s why you get immunized.
Brought to you by Vaccines411.ca – know where to go for your vaccinations.
This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Read more Vaccines411® Articles
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- Prevention: How can influenza be prevented?
- Adult immunization: What vaccines do you need?
- The top ten reasons to ask about adult immunization.