Parents are usually diligent about keeping up with their children’s immunization schedules, but many forget to keep track of their own. There are many reasons why adults require vaccines, like the reasons described below.
1. You May Require a Booster
Although you may have been immunized for diseases like tetanus or pertussis as a child, you may still require a booster to remain protected. Check your immunization clinic records to determine when you last got vaccinated and when you’re due for a booster. It might be time to head to a walk-in medical clinic for a quick shot.
2. You Can Better Protect Your Children
Many vaccines aren’t recommended nor licensed for babies under the age of six months old, such as the flu vaccine. Other children are allergic to the ingredients in these immunizations and cannot receive them. This makes them more vulnerable to getting sick. Being vaccinated can help you protect the young children in your life who cannot be vaccinated. For example, getting the flu or whooping cough vaccine can help you reduce the risk of transmitting these serious conditions to your children. If you’re in contact with young children, it’s best to ensure you’re up to date on your vaccines.
3. You May Never Have Been Immunized
Most children will go through a cycle of vaccines, set by the province’s immunization schedule. These typically include vaccinations for Diphtheria, pertussis, polio, Hib, rotavirus, and more. Other vaccines exist, however, but are only given to adults. These include the shingles and HPV vaccines.
4. You Want to Be Protected When You Travel
Travelling to other countries can put you at risk of many illnesses you won’t find at home, including yellow fever, malaria, and meningococcal. Depending on where in the world you’re travelling, it’s a good idea to determine which vaccines are required and which ones you should receive to help you stay healthy.
5. It’s Flu Season
Every year, the government recommends all citizens over the age of six months gets the flu vaccine. Getting this immunization is quick and easy. You don’t need an appointment—simply head into your local walk-in clinic and you’ll be vaccinated in no time and on your way back home. The flu vaccine can help protect you from three to four strains of influenza.
6. You Weren’t Fully Vaccinated as a Child
As we mentioned, most children go through a cycle of vaccinations at certain ages, whether at the doctor’s office or at school. However, not all people were born when vaccinations were so comprehensive, and so you may not have been fully vaccinated when you were younger. If you’ve never been immunized for diseases such as mumps, rubella, chickenpox, or the measles, it’s a good idea to do so as an adult.
7. There Are New Vaccines on the Market
A few years ago, the HPV vaccine didn’t exist. There are other newly developed vaccines as well. When Health Canada approves a new vaccine, it’s best practice to get it.
8. You Work in Healthcare
Healthcare workers risk their lives every day. They’re in constant contact with bodily fluids such as blood—fluids that may contain infections. If you work in healthcare, you’ll be required to get a set of vaccines with proof of immunity, but it’s also a good idea to be further protected with the annual flu vaccine.
9. You Have a Chronic Disease
A chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, or asthma makes you more vulnerable to illness. Your immune system may be weaker than that of most healthy people. Vaccinations such as the pneumococcal vaccine can help protect you from getting serious diseases such as blood infections, meningitis, and pneumonia.
Don’t put your health at risk. Getting vaccinated as an adult is a smart choice.