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Immunization for adults

Learn about vaccines that are recommended for adults.

Why adults need vaccines

Getting immunized saves lives. It helps protect you, your family, and the people around you from getting sick with diseases that vaccines can prevent.

As you get older, the protection that your childhood immunizations give you can wear off for some diseases. Getting another dose (called a booster) of a vaccine can give you more immunity so you have the best protection possible.

There are also diseases that are more serious in adults, even healthy adults. This is why you need certain vaccines as you get older.

There are many factors that affect which vaccines you may need as an adult. They include:

  • the vaccines you had as a child
  • any health conditions you have
  • your age
  • your lifestyle
  • your job
  • if you're pregnant
  • your plans for travel
  • the people with whom you have close contact

Recommended vaccines for adults (18 years and older)

It's important to make sure your routine vaccines are up to date.

The Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends immunization schedules for adults, including adults who are pregnant or have medical conditions.

Adults 50 years and older

Some diseases that vaccines can prevent are more serious in older adults, because your immune system may not respond as well as you get older. This puts you at a greater risk for certain diseases, including:

If you are age 50 years or older, you are more likely to get shingles, and you’re at higher risk of other health problems from shingles.

If you are age 65 years or older, you are at higher risk of getting very sick from influenza, pneumococcal disease, and COVID-19.

Current as of: June 30, 2023
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
Our work takes place on historical and contemporary Indigenous lands, including the territories of Treaty 6, Treaty 7 & Treaty 8 and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta and 8 Métis Settlements. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous communities that have been forged in urban centres across Alberta.