Adult Immunization

Recent measles cases confirmed in Ottawa

Vaccines are an important part of staying healthy. They help protect us against very harmful and serious diseases like measles, polio, pneumococcal, influenza, tetanus, and more. In Ontario, routine immunization schedules tell us what vaccines we need in adulthood as well as how to catch up for vaccines missed as a child.  

In addition to your annual flu vaccine, you may need vaccinations for:

  • tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis,
  • pneumococcal,
  • shingles,
  • measles, mumps, rubella,  AND
  • any vaccinations missed in childhood.

Diseases prevented by vaccines are still present in the world and can be brought into our community, as we saw in 2019 with measles. Ensuring your vaccine record is up to date is the best way to protect yourself and those around you, including people who have an increased risk of infectious diseases, such as:  

  • Children & infants
  • Travellers
  • Students in post-secondary education settings
  • Workers including those working in health care, emergency services, child care, laboratories, with animals and more
  • Pregnant people or those planning to become pregnant
  • Newcomers to Canada
  • Those with underlying medical conditions

To learn more about adult vaccines visit the Government of Ontario: Vaccines for adults’ website

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not sure what vaccines I have had or what vaccines I might need.
If you are unsure of your immunization status, there are many ways to check your vaccine history and to find out if you need vaccines.
  • Your regular healthcare provider is a great resource to check your vaccine history. They can review the vaccines they have on your patient file and recommend next steps to get your immunization status up to date.  
  • If you received vaccines in another province or country, the local health authority where you lived may be able to help you retrieve your immunization record. Provincial and territorial health resources.
  • If you required vaccine information from an employer, and/or received vaccines in the workplace, your employer and/or occupational health department may be able to help you.
  • Parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) in childhood may have vaccine records for you.
  • If you recently (since 2015)  attended school (JK – 12) in Ontario, your vaccines reported for school attendance may be available on the Immunization Connect Ontario Tool (ICON).
I am travelling outside of Canada, are there vaccines I might need?
Due to the presence of vaccine preventable diseases in foreign countries you should ensure your immunization status is up to date before travelling. Your regular health care provider or a specialized travel medicine clinic can help you in making sure you are safe to travel. It is recommended to schedule an appointment for at least six weeks before your planned departure. The Public Health Agency of Canada provides travel health notices and a list of travel clinics across Canada.
I have no history of some (or any) of my vaccines. What are my options?
Vaccines are safe for most adults and can be repeated without any increased risk of reactions. You can discuss vaccination options with a health care provider to ensure you are protected.   
Where can I learn more about vaccines?
  • Interested in learning more about vaccines? Visit our Vaccines Work page.
  • If you would like to keep track of your immunizations, CANImmunize is a free digital tool for Canadians that securely stores your vaccination records and helps you get vaccinated on time.
  • The Canadian Immunization Guide from the Public Health Agency of Canada is a comprehensive resource on vaccine knowledge created by leading experts in immunization.

 

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