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vaccineIn recognition of National Immunization Awareness Week, April 22 – 29, Public Health urges you to check-up on your immunization status. Protect yourself. Protect others.

Parents are generally very careful to ensure their children are properly vaccinated. However, adults are often not so thorough about keeping their own immunization up to date. If it has been so long that you don't remember when you last had a tetanus shot, or you are unsure if you are immune to measles, mumps and rubella, or you are over 65 years and have not had the shingles and pneumococcal vaccine, it is time to speak with your health care provider.

All students aged 14-16 years are required to have a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine. After that, it is recommended adults receive another dose between 24 and 26 years of age and then a booster of tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years.

Adults born in 1970 or later should receive two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Outbreaks of measles are highly contagious.

There is a vaccine for older adults to help prevent pneumonia, meningitis and related infections. A vaccine to prevent shingles is also available at no cost, for those aged 65 – 70 years. For most people, both of these vaccines are one dose. Everyone should also receive a flu shot every year in the late fall before flu season begins.

We also protect others by being immunized because we prevent the virus or bacteria from circulating.

Immunization has likely saved more lives in Canada in the past 50 years than any other health-related intervention. Smallpox has been eradicated, and there is great promise of the same for polio and measles.

source: media release, Grey Bruce Health Unit

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