Choosing immunization doesn’t just protect you: it also reduces your risk of spreading vaccine-preventable infections to people around you. That means more time together with the people you love!
Some vaccines have specific audiences in mind. When in doubt, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist which vaccines they recommend based on your unique circumstances!
The flu vaccine
Influenza is a contagious viral infection. While many people recover after a week to 10 days, others can get very sick. Flu viruses can vary from year to year.
Why flu is a big deal: The flu is estimated to cause more than 12,000 hospitalizations each year, and around 3,500 deaths each year. It can often lead to secondary infections like pneumonia, and it’s especially dangerous for babies and young children, people who are immunocompromised, and older adults.
Who needs the vaccine: A yearly flu vaccine is highly recommended for all Canadians 6 months of age or older, unless there’s a contraindication (medical reason to avoid the vaccine).
The RSV vaccine
Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, infects the lungs and airways. RSV can affect anyone of any age, causing mild cold-like symptoms for most. However, vulnerable people are at risk of developing severe RSV that can seriously affect their breathing.
Why RSV is a big deal: RSV usually causes mild illness, but it can be very serious for infants, people who are immunocompromised, and older adults 65+. It can lead to severe infections of the lower respiratory tract, which require hospital care.
Who needs the vaccine: The RSV vaccine for adults is new! It’s currently recommended for adults 60+. There is a cost associated, and you will need a prescription from your primary care provider.
What’s next for RSV protection? Watch the news – by next RSV season, vaccines could be available for vaccinating pregnant people, too!
The pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine
In most cases, pneumonia is caused by bacteria. Vaccines can help to prevent pneumonia caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Why pneumococcal pneumonia is a big deal: Pneumonia is a leading cause of death and hospitalization in older adults and can be deadly for people with chronic diseases, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Who needs the vaccine: The pneumococcal vaccine is highly recommended for the older adults (65+) in your family, and for people with risk factors like:
- Living with a chronic lung disease like COPD
- Living in a long-term care facility
- Living with an illness that makes you immunocompromised
The COVID-19 vaccine
COVID is an infectious illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Many different strains are circulating in your community, causing a long list of symptoms that can include severe trouble breathing.
Why COVID is (still!) a big deal: COVID-19 can still cause very serious symptoms. It’s difficult to know how your body will react, or which strain you’ll face.
Who needs the vaccine: The COVID-19 vaccine is highly recommended for all Canadians 6 months of age or older, unless there’s a contraindication (medical reason to avoid the vaccine). You should stay up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines, even if you have had the illness in the past.
Questions about your breathing? Get one-on-one advice from a Certified Respiratory Educator through our free Lung Health Line: 1-888-344-LUNG, email [email protected], or live chat at lunghealth.ca.