Why It’s Important to Know About 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.
Adult vaccination is needed for all above the age of 60 or those who suffer from diseases like diabetes, AIDS, liver and kidney problems. (Photo: iStockphoto)

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.

Too caught up to read? Listen to the story here:

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?

Vaccination is specifically according to risk factors.
Vaccination is specifically according to risk factors.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

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.

Those who are above 60 years of age and those who are suffering with diabetes, AIDS, chronic lung and heart diseases need it the most. Even a 40-year-old with a chronic heart problem should consult their physician and get the appropriate vaccination done.
Dr Vivek Nangia

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.

Also Read : World’s First Vaccine to Save Honeybees Developed

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.
The cost of these vaccines can be anywhere between Rs 20 and Rs 2,000 and any good physician can administer them.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

The cost of these vaccines can be anywhere between Rs 20 and Rs 2,000 and any good physician can administer them.

A common myth about adult immunisation is that being fit means you don’t need it. This is untrue, says Dr Nangia.

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.

It’s not about whether you’ve had infections in the past, but about the prevention of getting them in the future. There are vaccines available for diseases like hepatitis, typhoid, pneumonia, tetanus, diptheria – common vaccinations that are often ignored.
Dr Vivek Nangia

Also Read : Why Your Little Girl Needs Vaccine for Sexually Transmitted HPV

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.

(FIT is now available on Telegram. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe us on Telegram)

Follow our Fit section for more stories.

    Also Watch