Seunga (Jasmine) Han, PharmD Student
Vaccines Aren’t Just for Children
You may be thinking, “I received all of my immunizations as a child, why would I need more?” The reason for this is that as we age, the protection we receive from certain vaccinations in our past can begin to wear off. As a result, it’s often necessary to get another dose of certain vaccines called a “booster” to ensure that we’re fully protected. Additionally, not all adults are fully up to date with their vaccine schedule and may need to catch up as an adult. Moreover, not only do vaccinations protect us as adults, but they also act to prevent the spread of diseases to those who cannot be immunized, such as infants, children, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions.
So What Vaccines Do I Need?
Based on what kinds of vaccines you received as a child, your need for boosters may vary. Therefore, it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare provider, to ensure you receive the correct medications.
In addition to booster doses you may need, the following is the vaccination schedule currently recommended for healthy adults in Canada:1
- Influenza immunization: once every year
- Diphtheria and tetanus: every ten years
- Pertussis (whooping cough): 1 dose as an adult
- Herpes zoster (shingles): 1 dose for those aged 60 years and above
- Pneumococcal: 1 dose for those aged 65 and above
The Bottom Line
Based on your personal history of vaccinations as well as medical conditions, medication usage, and lifestyle, you may have different vaccination needs compared to others. Additionally, in Canada, each province and territory has different regulations on how they provide and fund vaccines. Therefore, if in doubt, consult your healthcare provider for additional advice and assistance in this process.
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