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Infectious Diseases

Why It’s Important to Keep Up with Routine Vaccinations

woman getting vaccinated
woman getting vaccinated

Think grown-ups don’t need to keep up with their routine vaccinations? Think again! The protection offered by routine childhood vaccinations against common diseases doesn’t last forever — booster doses are often needed to help us avoid infection.1

With age, our natural immunity weakens, reducing the body’s defences against the pathogens around us. And chronic health conditions such as heart or lung conditions, diabetes, obesity, and weakened immune systems can increase the severity of symptoms of many diseases.2, 3

According to a recent survey, although most adults felt they had received all the vaccines they needed, less than one in 10 were actually up to date with their vaccinations.2

In addition to the flu shot, Health Canada recommends that older adults receive booster shots for pneumococcus, which can cause severe pneumonia in seniors; tetanus, which enters the body through a small cut or scrape; diphtheria, which is spread between people sharing the same air space; and pertussis (whooping cough), which is generally mild in adults but can be deadly for infants who catch it.2

If you received the three-in-one Tdap vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis as a child, stay protected by having a Td (tetanus-diphtheria) booster every 10 years.3, 4

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends adults have a booster of the three-in-one MMR vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella, and vaccination for individuals without evidence of immunity, those who work in health care settings or live or work with immunocompromised individuals or in shared accommodations, and international travellers.5, 6

Don’t be caught unprepared as people regroup — be sure you have the immunizations you need to stay safe. If you aren’t sure of your vaccination status, ask your doctor or check with your local public health office.2

This article was brought to you by — 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 factors and circumstances.

1 Why do adults need vaccines?
2 Not just for kids: An adult guide to vaccination
3 COVID-19: Who’s at higher risk of serious symptoms?
4 Adult Vaccines: Protect Yourself Against Tetanus and More
5 What vaccines do adults need?
6 Recommended Immunizations for Adults
Additional source: You May Not Be Immune Forever ­— Why Boosters Are Important!

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