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Vaccines for adults: Should everyone get them?
Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019 6:00AM PDT Last Updated Wednesday, March 20, 2019 7:17PM PDT
Vaccinating children has been a hot topic with the recent measles outbreak in B.C., but what about vaccines for adults?
There are several adult vaccines to protect against diseases including shingles and pneumonia, but should everyone get them?
Even if you were vaccinated as a child, doctors recommend several vaccines for adults: an annual flu shot, a Tdap vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, and a TD booster every 10 years to protect against tetanus and diphtheria. Then there’s the shingles vaccine for people age 50 and older, and at 65, one for pneumonia.
Another vaccine some young adults are considering protects against HPV, or the human papillomavirus, which can cause cancer in women and men.
Health Canada has approved the HPV vaccine for women between the ages of nine to 45 and men from nine to 26.
And if you’re concerned about getting sick after receiving one, you might have some mild side effects like a sore arm or even a slight fever. But if you do come down with something more serious, doctors say it’s probably just a coincidence.
Health officials say thousands of people die each year due to complications from diseases that could have been prevented with a vaccine.
Although they can’t guarantee you won’t get sick, vaccines can improve your odds and even make symptoms less severe if you do catch something.