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Reasons to immunize

Date last reviewed: 
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

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Immunization is important for protecting your health in every stage of life.

Why adults need vaccines

Here are 5 top reasons why adults need vaccines. Expand the tabs to learn more.
1. They help you stay healthy throughout your life. 
Vaccines help protect you against many diseases that can cause serious illness, long-term disability, and even death. They help you stay healthy so you don’t miss out on things like work, volunteering, and spending time with others. 
2. They help protect the people around you.
When you get immunized, you don't just protect yourself; you help protect others, too. This is because you will be less likely to get and spread certain diseases. This helps protect those who can't get immunized and those who may be more likely to get very sick from the disease, such as young babies and people with certain medical conditions. This type of protection is called community immunity. 
3. Protection from some vaccines can wear off.
As you age, the protection from some vaccines you received earlier in life can wear off. Booster doses are needed to ensure you stay protected. For example, adults need a booster dose of tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine every 10 years.
4. You may be at risk for different diseases.
Your age, job, life events, travel plans, or health conditions may put you at risk for diseases that vaccines can prevent. 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.
  • Some health conditions can make it harder to fight off diseases like pneumococcal or influenza (flu).
  • People who are travelling may be at risk for diseases we don’t see here in Canada. 
5. Newer vaccines are available.
In recent years, newer vaccines have become available. For example:
  • The shingles vaccine, Shingrix, was approved in Canada in 2017. It is recommended for adults 50 years of age and older. 
  • An RSV vaccine was approved by Health Canada in 2023 and is available for purchase for those 60 and older.