Immunisation describes the process whereby people are protected against illness caused by infection with micro-organisms (formally called pathogens). The term vaccine refers to the material used for immunisation, while vaccination refers to the act of giving a vaccine to a person.
A vaccine usually contains an agent resembling a disease-causing bacteria. When this biological preparation is injected into your body, your immune system recognizes the agent and destroys it. However, your immune system remembers the agent and next time, when the actual microbe attacks you, it safeguards you against the disease. Vaccines are usually made from the toxins of the killed or weakened microorganism.
The World Health Organisation is driving a Global Vaccine Action Plan (GAVP) that aims to prevent deaths due to diseases that can be prevented through vaccination. Under this plan, the organization is working towards increasing the access to vaccinations, thereby increasing the percentage of coverage. By 2020, all the countries are aiming to increase vaccination coverage by 90% nationally. Vaccination is a major step towards the prevention of infectious disease.
Vaccinations aren’t just for children.
Adults need them too at times, depending on factors such as age, health conditions, travel plans and personal vaccination record.
India needs substantial improvement and awareness in adult vaccination. The government of India as well as the WHO consider childhood vaccination as the leading priority. However, there is no focus on adult immunization which also is the most ignored part of healthcare services in India. Adult vaccination coverage in India is negligible.
Adults can be vaccinated for a range of diseases such as swine flu, typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus and pneumonia. Vaccines such as hepatitis A and B, pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis, rabies, human papillomavirus vaccine and tetanus are the most common vaccinations given in India.
The guidelines to get vaccinations in India are not as strict as in the UK or the US. People over 50 years, or those who are more susceptible to infections, are usually asked to go for vaccinations
It is important to take vaccines as precautions while travelling to certain countries. For example, yellow fever vaccination is needed by Indians travelling to African countries. We don’t have yellow fever in India yet – but the country has all the favourable parameters for it to thrive quite well. So if someone from India travels to Africa, contracts the disease and returns to India, they can spread the disease. Similarly, vaccinations against tuberculosis, typhoid and meningococcal meningitis are required if you travel to the US or European countries.
Know more about vaccines, consult our doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Please consult our Adult immunization clinic and our Centre for Mother and Child for child vaccines, please refer below link for more details: