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What are vaccines?

Vaccines offer protection from infectious diseases and prevent a person from getting sick.

Vaccines are commonly given to children to protect them against illnesses. Adults too require certain vaccines.

 

What is the role of immunization in adults?

Immunization protects an individual from getting a number of illnesses. Many of these illnesses can spread easily from person to person and cause serious health issues including death.

 

Why adults need vaccines?

  • Some adults are not vaccinated as children.
  • Immunity from childhood vaccinations wanes over time.
  • As we age we become more susceptible to diseases caused by common infections like flu, pneumococci, herpes zoster etc.
  • For prevention of disease outbreaks, especially in our country where overcrowding is an issue and infections can spread easily from person to person.
  • Vaccines can prevent certain diseases transmitted via blood or sexual contact.
  • Post transplant patients

Recommendations for vaccines -

The doctor recommends vaccines based on

  • Age
  • Prior vaccinations
  • Associated medical conditions like diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease etc.
  • Occupation
 

Which are the special conditions which need to be considered prior to vaccination?

  • Spleen removal
  • Travel to certain places
  • Pregnancy and breast feeding
  • Work in areas where exposure to infection can occur like abattoir workers and laboratory personnel.
  • Moderate to severe illness or chronic disease.
  • Previous allergic reaction
  • History of fits or weakened nervous system
  • Low immunity due to medications or diseases like HIV, cancer etc.
  • History of recent administration of another vaccine
  • History of blood transfusion
 

Do vaccines have side effects?

Vaccines are usually safe and have a high protection rate. Occasional local site reaction and fever can occur which can be treated symptomatically. Very rarely vaccines can have side effects .

 

Do vaccines require special handling?

Vaccines need to be stored properly at appropriate temperatures to maintain their efficacy. Care needs to be taken so that they are handled well and administered properly for ensuring maximum protection and minimizing risks.

 

Which are the common vaccines advocated for adults?

  • Influenza
  • Pneumococcal vaccine
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tdap/Td (Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis)
  • Shingles

Adult Immunization clinic

Immunization of adults against several diseases provides protection against infectious diseases which can have serious health implications including death. Vaccines provide protection not only to the individual but to the population at large.

Dedicated immunization clinics ensure proper vaccine storage and handling, dedicated personnel for administering the vaccine and documentation of the same. The patients are recommended vaccines after appropriate history taking, examination and noting other details of associated medical conditions, allergies etc.

Vaccines are recommended as per guidelines laid down by reputed societies/ bodies.

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