Vaccines have turned the tide against some of the most serious diseases, helping us live longer and healthier lives. Many adults think that vaccines are just for kids, but unfortunately, the shots we get as children won’t protect us forever. Immunization rates for Canadian adults are quite low1, but it’s important that adults get vaccinated too.
The truth is that shots given to you during childhood may not be enough to protect you now. Your immune system ages just like the rest of your body, leaving you more vulnerable to infections that can result in disease and death. And that risk is even greater if you have a chronic health condition like lung disease.
One of the biggest health threats to people over 65 is pneumococcal disease. It can cause pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections, and is a major cause of death worldwide—especially in infants and older adults. That’s why the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) recommends that all adults over 65 get a vaccine for pneumococcal disease.1
Protecting Yourself — and Others
Vaccines not only protect you, but the people around you as well. Whether you have grandchildren or grandparents, getting the pneumococcal vaccine is very important if you have close contact with a very young or elderly individual. That said, receiving an adult vaccine does not mean you will never contract the disease.