Don’t wait. Vaccinate! Tip Sheet for Older Adults
Vaccinations help to improve health outcomes, especially among older adults. As you age, your immune system weakens and can make fighting off infections more difficult. In fact, there are available and effective vaccines to prevent diseases, such as the flu, COVID-19, pneumonia, and shingles. You are at greater risk for severe disease and complications from these vaccine preventable diseases which can lead to chronic illness, hospitalization, and even death.
Top 3 Reasons why older adults need to keep vaccinations up to date:
- Older adults' aging immune system means they are more susceptible to infectious diseases and severe infections.
- Vaccines lower your chance of getting certain diseases and disease related complications
- Vaccines protect your health and the health of those around you.
Did you know?
- Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect your health.
- Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses, strengthening the response of the immune system to vaccine preventable diseases.
- Just like any medicine, vaccines can cause side effects with most being minor and lasting only a day or two. Serious side effects, such as severe allergic reactions, are rare.
- Chronic diseases may increase a person's risk of infection or increase a person's risk of more severe disease should infection occur.
- Certain travel destinations may have additional vaccine requirements or recommendations. If you are traveling outside of Canada, be sure your vaccines are up to date at least six weeks before your trip.
Are you up-to-date with your vaccinations?
There are many important routine vaccines that you may need including:
- Pertussis vaccine (a single dose in adulthood should be given with the routine ten-year tetanus and diphtheria booster)
- tetanus, diphtheria vaccine (every ten years)
- Herpes zoster(shingles vaccine)
- Pneumococcal vaccine
- COVID-19 vaccine
- Seasonal flu vaccine
Talk to your healthcare provider about which vaccines and boosters you may be eligible for and the timing of them. Individuals with certain health conditions may be at a higher risk for certain diseases and may need additional vaccines. Discussing your vaccination status with your healthcare provider is the best way to ensure you are adequately protected.
Don’t wait! Ask your health care provider which vaccines are recommended for you.
No health care provider? Find one by registering with Health Care Connect (1-800-445-1822)
To learn more about adult vaccines, visit:
Government of Ontario, Vaccines for adults: https://www.ontario.ca/page/vaccines-adults#section-4
Ottawa Public Health
Routine vaccines for older adults: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/immunizations-for-older-adults.aspx
COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/COVID19
Influenza vaccines: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/flu
Public Health Agency of Canada
Vaccine Preventable Diseases: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/vaccine-preventable-diseases.html
Travel health notices and a list of travel clinics across Canada, http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/index-eng.php
COVID-19 Resources for Seniors and their Caregivers: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/resources-older-adults-caregivers.html
Active Aging Canada, Vaccinations: https://www.activeagingcanada.ca/participants/get-active/vaccinations.htm
CANImmunize, a free Canadian digital tool that securely stores your vaccination records and helps you get vaccinated on time: www.canimmunize.ca
Disclaimer: This tip sheet is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be health advice. Please contact your health care provider if you have questions or concerns about these vaccines or consult the listed references for further information.