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Adult Vaccines & Immunizations

Immunizations are not just for kids!

At any age, vaccination provides the longest-lasting and most effective protection against disease. While childhood immunizations play a vital role, they do not provide lifelong immunity against certain diseases such as tetanus (lockjaw) and diphtheria.

As adults, we may require “helper shots” to boost our immunity against certain diseases, including Tetanus. Adults who were not fully immunized during childhood may be at risk of infection and can potentially transmit these diseases to others. For example, if an adult contracts measles, mumps or pertussis (whooping cough) they can pass it to infants who have not yet received their full immunizations. There are also many new vaccines are only approved for adults, such as the Shingles vaccine.

Not all vaccines are publicly funded, which means some vaccines need to be purchased.  If you wish to receive a recommended vaccine that is not publicly funded, you may need to request a prescription from your primary health care provider and purchase the vaccine at a pharmacy.  Alternatively, you can inquire with your pharmacist about the possibility of receiving immunization services directly at the pharmacy. Recommended vaccines may vary based on your health, occupation, or travel destinations. 

Recommended Adult Vaccines:  

Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are recommended each fall season.

Pertussis vaccination:    

  • All adults require at least one dose of Pertussis in adulthood (18 years of age and older).
  • This vaccine is given in combination with Tetanus and Diphtheria.  
  • If you are unsure of when your last Tetanus vaccine was, contact your health care provider or local health unit office to determine if you need vaccination.  

Pertussis vaccination in Pregnancy:    

  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends vaccinating all pregnant women with Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis) vaccine.  
  • By getting vaccinated with Tdap during pregnancy, antibodies are transferred to the baby, and offers direct protection against pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough).   
  • Tdap should be offered during every pregnancy, regardless of whether you have received it before or how much time has passed since your last pregnancy. Vaccination is recommended between 27-32 weeks gestation; although, it may be provided between 13 weeks and delivery. 

Shingles vaccine:      

  • All adults between 65-70 years of age are eligible to receive the Shingles vaccine (at no cost). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adults born in 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1952 remain eligible to receive the vaccine at no cost until December 2023.
  • Call your local public health unit office to determine if you are eligible.  
  • For non-eligible individuals, the vaccine is available, at a cost, from your local pharmacy or health unit office.

Pneumococcal vaccine

  • It is recommended that all adults 65 years of age and older receive a vaccine that fights against pneumonias.  
  • This vaccine is free and is available through your primary care provider or local health unit office.

Travel Vaccines:  

  • If you will be travelling, consult with your primary care provider or pharmacist for travel vaccine recommendations or visit Trip Prep. 
  • Vaccines are administered by your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, click here to book an appointment online or call your local health unit office.

If you run into any problems or have questions, please call the Porcupine Health Unit at 1-800-461-1818 or send us an email at [email protected]