Why It’s Important to Know About Adult Vaccination
Back in the day, when you were crawling in your diapers, your parents took care of all the vaccinations that you needed, and that was that. Who needs to worry about immunisation now, right? Wrong.
Adult vaccination and immunisation is just as important and we need to talk more about it. It may only be selective and not universally needed by all adults, yet it’s an important part of well-being.
Dr Vivek Nangia, Director and Head of Pulmonology at Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, describes immunisation as a process that allows the body to create anti-bodies against an infection. The process is the same for infants, children, as well as adults.
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In case of adults, the body’s tendency to create these antibodies reduces. This is precisely why a booster is needed in adulthood as well, asserts the doctor.
Who Needs Adult Vaccination?
Adult vaccination is needed for all above the age of 60 or those who suffer from diseases like diabetes, AIDS, liver and kidney problems. All of these result in lower immunity. The idea is to prevent such patients from further catching any infections.
Vaccination is specifically according to risk factors. For instance, there are seasonal vaccinations for infections like hepatitis A,B, and typhoid. They can be given seasonably, before the onset of monsoon. Then there are other diseases like tetanus – everyone should get a vaccination for this anyway once in 10 years.
Every vaccine would have a different requirement and time frame, adds Dr Nangia.
Costs, Myths and Lack of Awareness
The cost of these vaccines can be anywhere between Rs 20 and Rs 2,000 and any good physician can administer them.
If you don’t have a history of infections, it doesn’t mean you’re immune to infections in the future. This means everyone in a specific age bracket or with a specific health condition needs to get vaccinated.
Another myth is about the safety of these vaccinations.
All of these vaccines have been tested over 1000 patients and therefore are relatively safe. Vaccines certainly could have some local reactions, but they would all depend on how the vaccine has been administered and, of course, on the individual cases. There could be specific side effects, but they are usually very rare and quite well-tolerated too.Dr Vivek Nangia
It’s important, however, to keep in mind that the patient is healthy before they go for immunisation. They shouldn’t be carrying an infection already. Get it done safely.
The awareness in India is abysmal, says Dr Nangia. In his experience, only 2-5 percent of people have been aware of adult vaccinations. The lack of awareness is not confined to simply patients, but is widespread among physicians and doctors as well.