Why should adults have vaccinations?

Who should be vaccinated?

  • Travelers travelling into Africa
  • Last booster more than 10 years prior
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Adults in close contact with an infant
  • All healthcare professionals
  • All travelers to haj


Common vaccines for adults include;

  • Influenza vaccine
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis
  • Diphtheria
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Hepatitis a
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Shingles vaccine
  • HPV vaccine
  • Yellow fever vaccine

A booster vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and poliomyelitis is recommended for travelers.

Tetanus or lockjaw can be deadly. It is found in the soil and can enter into the bloodstream through a puncture wound or animal bite. Diphtheria is spread by coughing/sneezing. It causes swallowing difficulty and can lead to paralysis. Polio is highly infectious and causes limb paralysis and meningitis. Pertussis or whooping cough is also easily spread and causes coughing for weeks.

Hepatitis a is a highly contagious disease spread by contaminated food, water and faeces. People most at risk are travelers, people caring for infants and people living in crowded conditions. It causes jaundice, fatigue, dark urine, nausea and vomiting and may be fatal.

Shingles vaccine is recommended for anyone that has had chickenpox. Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus causing a painful rash that can leave nerve pain lasting for months or years afterwards.

Travelers to Haj must receive yellow fever, meningococcal vaccine (meningitis) and are recommended to receive the influenza vaccine as well

HPV vaccine is recommended to all male and female adults. HPV is a hardy virus that is easily spread. It causes cervical, vaginal, penile and other cancers as well as genital warts. HPV is spread by contact, generally but not exclusively by sexual contact.

Influenza vaccine is seasonal and changes every year. Everyone should be vaccinated but especially at risk are adults over 65 years, health and child care personnel, people living in nursing homes or the military, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases. Influenza is a highly contagious group of viruses that cause influenza symptoms leading to complications that can be life threatening.