(NC) Did you know that some of the vaccines you received when you were young won’t protect you forever? While you may know of a handful of vaccinations that are needed in adulthood, there are some that you probably didn’t know require additional doses.
“When you get vaccinated against a disease, you build up your immunity, making you stronger and more resistant to that disease,” explains Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health. “It’s important for adults to keep their vaccinations up-to-date, especially seniors and those with high-risk medical conditions.”
The protection offered by some vaccines only lasts for a certain amount of time. Having the right vaccines according to your age will ensure you keep yourself and those around you healthy.
The vaccine that protects against pertussis or whooping cough, is required once in adulthood. Vaccines that protect against tetanus or lockjaw, and diphtheria — a serious disease of the nose, throat and skin — are required every 10 years. Pneumococcal vaccine that protects against pneumonia and the shingles vaccine are recommended at age 65.
If you have special medical conditions or other high-risk factors, you may need additional vaccines. Women who are thinking about having a baby should also make sure they are up to date with their vaccines to protect themselves during pregnancy to keep the baby from contracting a serious disease. Talk with your doctor or nurse practitioner, or the local public health unit to learn more.
You may also need vaccines when you travel outside Canada. Check in with your health professional two to three months before you travel, especially if it’s a country where vaccine-preventable diseases exist.
More information about Ontario’s publicly funded immunization program and school immunization requirements can be found online at ontario.ca/vaccines. Find your local public health unit at ontario.ca/healthcareoptions.
Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.