Vaccines – They’re Not Just for Kids
March 22, 2023
Vaccinations are important throughout life, not just during childhood. While many of us may think of vaccines as ‘shots for children’, they’re actually an essential part of preventative care, protecting adults from serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases.
A survey by the Public Health Agency of Canada shows that only 10 per cent of adults are up to date with their vaccines — this means that 90 per cent of adults are under-immunized. Our immunity to some diseases wane as we grow into adulthood, increasing our exposure to new diseases and variants. Some diseases are also more common in adulthood.
Why do we need vaccines?
Keeping up with vaccines not only protects you but also protects your loved ones — including babies, immunocompromised/vulnerable people, pregnant women, and older adults.
What vaccinations are recommended for adults?
Influenza (Flu) vaccine: The flu vaccine is recommended for adults annually; it can help prevent the spread of the flu and reduce the severity of infection symptoms. It is especially important for people with a high risk of complications. This includes people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and those over the age of 50.
Herpes Zoster (shingles) vaccine: This vaccine protects against shingles, a painful blistering rash that can occur in adults who have had chickenpox. It is recommended for all adults over the age of 50.
Tdap vaccine: The Tdap is a three-in-one vaccine which protects against tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). It is usually a routine immunization given to children and pregnant women. Multiple boosters are provided to adults throughout their lifespan due to waning immunity over time. It is usually given every 10 years in adulthood. Adults who have not received a Tdap vaccine should receive one, especially if they are around infants or young children.
Pneumococcal vaccine: This vaccine protects against pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia, and other serious infections caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. It is recommended for adults over 65 who have never had the shot and those with chronic medical conditions, or weakened immune systems.
Covid-19 vaccine: This vaccine helps to prevent you from getting infected and protects you from becoming severely sick if you do. Vaccination protection may wane over time, so booster shots are recommended for longer-lasting protection.
Travel vaccines: If you are a frequent traveler, you may need certain vaccines to protect you and your loved ones during your trip. Vaccination requirements vary by country so it’s best to book a consultation with Well and Truly RX to find out exactly what you need for your travel.
In addition to the vaccines outlined above, adults should also ensure that they are up to date on all their childhood vaccinations, such as HPV, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), Meningococcal, and varicella (chickenpox). All of these can be reviewed during your consultation with a Well and Truly RX pharmacist.
Keeping Track of Your Vaccinations
You can track your adult vaccinations by keeping an Adult Immunization Records card. If you need a card, send a request to our pharmacy via email at email@example.com. If you don’t have records of your childhood immunizations, check with the local public health office where you were immunized as a child. Most public health offices maintain a registry of childhood immunizations in their area.
Consult your Healthcare Provider
It is important to consult your health-care provider about which vaccines are recommended for you based on your individual health status and risk factors. In some cases, you may need additional vaccines based on your travel plans or other specific circumstances. By staying up to date with vaccinations, you can help protect your own health and the health of those around you.
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Sources: Canadian Immunization Guide, Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Immunization Guide
The content on this website is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new health-care regimen.