Almost everyone knows how important it is for children to get immunized but we fail to realize that adults need vaccines too.
Vaccination is a preventive mechanism that enables your body strong enough to fight off infections and protects you from deadly diseases.
There are a number of vaccines available for adults. Some of them include:
1. Hepatitis B vaccine
Protects you from the deadly Hepatitis B virus which causes liver cancer and has NO CURE.
You should take this vaccine if you are sexually active, have a history of multiple sexual partners, a health worker, live with someone who has Hepatitis B, you have been treated for an STI etc. The vaccine is taken in 3 stages: 1st shot – anytime, 2nd shot – at least 1 month after the first shot, 3rd shot – at least 4 months after first shot.
2. HPV vaccine
HPV is the virus that causes cervical cancer in women. It is also implicated in vaginal cancer, vulval cancer, penile cancer (in males), anal and oropharyngeal cancer. This vaccine is best given to adolescent females before they become sexually active and may be given in 2 or 3 shots depending.
3. Hepatitis A vaccine
Hepatitis A is another virus which causes inflammation of the liver. It is highly contagious and spread through contaminated food and water. It is given as 2 shots, 6 – 12 months apart.
4. Meningitis Vaccine
This vaccine protects you from the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease. You should take this vaccine if you live in densely populated areas, have had your spleen removed or are HIV positive. It is usually given as a two-dose series.
5. Pneumococcal vaccine
This vaccine protects you against the bacteria that causes severe infections of the lungs, blood and lining of the brain and spinal cord. It is also taken in two doses, a year apart.
6. Typhoid vaccine
Yes you heard that right, there is a vaccine for this!
Can be given as a shot or an oral dose. Dosage differs depending on the route. You should get this vaccine if you live in regions where typhoid is common or you are traveling to such regions.
7. Tetanus toxoid
Protects you against tetanus. Usually given as 5 doses in childhood with a 6th dose in adolescence and additional doses every 10 years. You would become immune after 3 doses. A booster dose is usually given within 48 hours of an injury for people who are not up to date with the schedule. This vaccine is also important for pregnant women to prevent their babies from having tetanus.
8. Yellow Fever vaccine
Protects you from the virus that causes yellow fever transmitted via mosquito bites. You need this vaccine if you live in the tropics or are traveling into these regions. A single dose provides lifelong vaccine.
See your doctor for further information and recommendation on which vaccines you should receive based on your perceived risks.