Vaccinations (also called immunizations) provide protection against many serious diseases. Today most children are vaccinated against major childhood diseases. There are also several other vaccinations that need to be kept up to date during your life.
Here are some infections that youth and adults can be vaccinated against:
Babies and children need vaccinations to protect them against several diseases that can range from uncomfortable to fatal. Childhood immunizations start at the age of 2 months. The first vaccination is to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (TDaP). A booster shot needs to be given between ages 14 and 16.
For protection against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) your baby will need two shots – one given at 12 to 15 months and a second one at 18 months, These shots provide lifelong protection against these three diseases.
For protection against chicken pox the varicella vaccine is recommended at age 12 months.
Tetanus (also called lockjaw) is an infection that can be fatal. The infection is caused by bacteria that gets into the body through a deep cut or puncture wound. Adults should get a tetanus shot every 10 years to stay protected. If you get a puncture wound or deep cut you should get a booster shot right away at your Health Centre.
Influenza (“The Flu”)
To protect yourself get a “flu shot” every fall. Getting a flu shot is particularly important if you are 65 or older, if you have a lung disease, if you have a heart disease or diabetes. The flu vaccination reduces your risk of getting sick with the flu. Don’t get a flu shot if you are allergic to eggs. Eggs are used in making the vaccine.
Adults 65 and older should get a pneumoccal vaccination. Older people have a greater chance than younger people of getting pneumonia infections. The vaccination is usually given only once. However your Community Health Nurse may suggest a booster shot.