Why do adults need vaccines?

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Here are five important reasons why adults need vaccines:

1.  Some diseases are more common in adults

As you get older, your risk for certain diseases (such as shingles and pneumococcal disease) increases.

2. Protection from some vaccines can wear off over time

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

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

Your age, lifestyle, job, travel plans, or health condition may put you at risk for new and different diseases. For example, adults who work in healthcare settings or who have multiple sexual partners are at risk for hepatitis B, adults with certain chronic health conditions are at risk for pneumococcal disease, and adults who are travelling internationally may be at risk for diseases we don’t see here in Canada. Learn about travel vaccines here.

4. New vaccines have become available

To protect people of all ages, scientists are working hard to develop new vaccines. For example, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and shingles vaccine are both fairly new vaccines and are recommended for some adults. Even new vaccines have been studied for a long time and are known to be safe.

5. When you get vaccinated, you help protect others too

When you get vaccinated, you help protect others by making it less likely that you will get and spread a disease. This helps protect those who can’t be vaccinated, such as very young babies and people with certain medical conditions.


Date last reviewed: 
Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020