There are also diseases that are more common in adults, even healthy adults. This is why additional vaccines are needed as we get older.
By keeping up to date with vaccines, adults can prevent the spread of disease to those who may be more likely to contract them. These include:
- babies and young children;
- pregnant women; and
- people with certain medical conditions such as those who have weakened immunity.
This is known as community immunity or herd immunity. Many Canadian adults are not up to date with their vaccines. Talk to your healthcare provider to see what you need to do to be fully protected.
Vaccines for adults 60 years of age and older
As we get older, our immune system can get weaker. This puts us at a greater risk for certain diseases, including influenza. The flu is more likely to cause severe illness and even death in older adults. Other vaccine-preventable diseases such as herpes zoster (shingles) and pneumococcal disease are more common with age.
Vaccine Schedule for Adults
Diphtheria and Tetanus
Every 10 years
Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
One dose at 60+ years (may be given between 50 and 59 years)
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
1 dose as an adult and during each pregnancy
1 dose at 65+ years
Adults may also want to consider being vaccinated for the following diseases if medically appropriate.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
One dose at 26 years of age or younger*
Measles, Mumps and Rubella
One dose at 24 years of age or younger*
Varicella (Chicken Pox)
Not everyone is the same. You may need more or fewer vaccines depending on your medical history and risks. Talk to your healthcare provider about the right vaccines for you.
* indicates that multiple doses may be required