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4 important reasons why adults need vaccines

Date last reviewed: 
Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023
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1. Vaccines protect you and the people around you.

Vaccines help protect you from diseases that can cause serious illness, long-term disability, and even death. When you get immunized, you also help protect others because you will be less likely to get and spread certain diseases. This helps protect those who can't get immunized, such as young babies and people with certain medical conditions. This type of protection is called community immunity. 

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2. Protection from some vaccines can wear off with time.

As you age, the protection from some vaccines you received at a younger age can wear off. Booster doses are needed to ensure continued protection. For example, adults should get a booster dose of tetanus/diphtheria (Td) vaccine every 10 years.

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3. You may be at risk for new and different diseases.

Your age, lifestyle, job, travel plans, or health condition may put you at risk for new and different diseases. For example: 
 
  • People who work in healthcare settings are at high risk of hepatitis B infection.
  • Males who have sex with males are at high risk for HPV infection. 
  • Adults who are over 50 have a greater chance of getting shingles.
  • Adults 65 and over are at increased risk of getting sick from pneumococcal infections.
  • People who are traveling may be at risk for diseases we don’t see here in Canada. 
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4. Newer vaccines have become available.

Some vaccines recommended for adults are fairly new. For example: 
 
  • Shingrix, a vaccine that helps prevent shingles, was approved in Canada in 2017. This vaccine is recommended for adults 50 years of age and older. 
  • The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was approved in Canada in 2006. This vaccine is recommended for some adults.