Updated September 29, 2022

It is important to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations in addition to the below vaccines.

Immunization is not just for kids. The vaccines you need may depend on your age, health condition, occupation, travel habits, environment, and lifestyle. Sometimes a booster is needed to stay protected. Not all vaccines are publicly funded, meaning it is covered if you have an Ontario Health Card. Talk to your healthcare provider. Doses may vary depending on the vaccine and your medical history.

For young adults, consider the following:

  • ensure two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines were received as a child, and if not, gets two doses as an adult
  • diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine, one dose as an adult, then diphtheria and tetanus every 10 years
  • human papillomavirus vaccine, check with your doctor to see if you are eligible for the free three-dose series. Recommended if you are 26 years of age or younger, and if 27 and older and have ongoing risk of infection (eg. new sexual partners)
  • influenza vaccine every year (ideally in November/December)
  • meningococcal vaccine if not received as a teen – free for anyone born in 1997 or later
    • Adults born between 1986 and 1996 require one dose of Men-C-C vaccine (Meningococcal Conjugate-C).
  • polio vaccine if you were not previously vaccinated
  • chickenpox (varicella) vaccine if 18 to 49 years and you never had chickenpox or were never vaccinated.
  • see Occupation, Lifestyle and Travel below, for more vaccines

Hepatitis B vaccine

  • Prevents transmission of infection to baby
  • Chronic carriers can speak with their doctor on how to prevent transmission to their babies.
  • If you grew up in Ontario, you may have received the vaccine series in Grade 7/8 (check your immunization card).

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine

  • Prevents infection and reduces incidence of cervical abnormalities, cancer and genital warts
  • Prevents transmission of HPV warts and respiratory papillomatosis to babies

MMR – measles, mumps, rubella (live vaccine*)

  • Protects against congenital rubella syndrome
  • Infection in early pregnancy can cause miscarriage
  • Two doses are needed for full protection

Varicella – chickenpox (live vaccine*)

  • Not needed if have had chickenpox infection or vaccination before pregnancy
  • Infection in early pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects.
  • Infection can also cause serious complications for the pregnant woman, such as pneumonia.

*As a general rule, live vaccines should not be given during pregnancy. Women should not try for pregnancy for four weeks after receiving a live vaccine.

Influenza vaccine (TIV)

  • Protects the mother and baby from flu-related complications during flu season (from October to April)
  • Vaccinating the family will protect newborns,
  • Infants under six months of age are too young to get the vaccine.

Tdap – tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine

  • Vaccination in each pregnancy, preferably at 27 to 32 weeks to protect babies under six months, when they are at highest risk of getting pertussis
  • Vaccinating the family will also protect babies from pertussis infection.
  • Up-to-date tetanus will protect against neonatal tetanus.

Pregnant women at higher risk of infections due to occupation or travel should consider additional vaccines such as hepatitis A, polio.

*As a general rule, live vaccines should not be given during pregnancy.

*COVID-19 vaccination is recommended in each pregnancy.

For adults 50 years and over:

  • diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine (only if you did not already received a dose as an adult), then
  • diphtheria, tetanus boosters every 10 years
  • influenza every year (November / December)
  • shingles (Herpes Zoster) is not publicly funded for this age group
  • hepatitis A & B for individuals at risk of exposure (especially before travel), not publicly funded
  • polio if you were never vaccinated

For adults 65 years and over; and persons with specific medical conditions:

  • diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine (only if you did not already receive a dose as an adult), then
  • diphtheria, tetanus boosters every 10 years
  • influenza every year (November / December)
  • hepatitis A & B for individuals at risk of exposure (especially before travel), not publicly funded
  • pneumococcal vaccines (eg. pneumococcal Vaccine (Pneu-P-23) is publicly funded)
  • shingles vaccine is publicly funded for adults 65 to 70 years old

For healthcare providers; child care providers and military personnel, consider the following:

  • diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine – one dose in adulthood, then
  • diphtheria and tetanus vaccine booster every 10 years
  • hepatitis A / B combination vaccine (two to three dose series), not publicly funded
  • measles-Mumps-Rubella combination vaccine (two doses)
  • varicella (chickenpox) – two doses; or proof of immunity via history of chickenpox or blood test
  • meningococcal Quadrivalent Conjugate vaccine, may not be publicly funded
  • influenza vaccine every year (ideally in November/December)
  • polio vaccine

For persons with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune system, talk with your healthcare provider. Vaccines needed may depend on your health history and age:

  • haemophilus influenzae B vaccine
  • hepatitis A and B vaccine
  • influenza vaccine every year, ideally November / December
  • meningococcal vaccines
  • pneumococcal vaccines
  • human papillomavirus vaccine is publicly funded for MSM, up to 26 years old. Talk to your doctor.
  • shingles vaccine

For travellers, please visit a travel health clinic at least 4 weeks before your travel date. Vaccines needed depends on purpose of travel, length of travel and destinations. Most vaccines required for travel are not publicly funded.

  • hepatitis A and B vaccine
  • meningococcal Quadrivalent Conjugate vaccine cholera (to endemic areas)
  • traveller’s diarrhea (especially if you have a chronic illness or weakened immune system)
  • Japanese Encephalitis vaccine  (to endemic areas during transmission season)
  • polio vaccine (to areas where poliovirus is known)
  • rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis (to high-risk areas)
  • yellow fever vaccine