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Expert-Recommended Vaccines That Every Adult Should Take

Have you heard about the recent cholera outbreak in Bangalore? It's a stark reminder of how unpredictable health crises can be. But here's something to think about when was the last time you checked if your vaccinations were up to date? 

It is not just a matter of safeguarding the kids in your family. We, as adults, need to ensure we are also protected. Staying current with our vaccinations isn't just about personal health; it's a community responsibility. By keeping ourselves vaccinated, we're not just preventing diseases; we're helping to block their path, making life healthier for everyone around us. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the importance of adult vaccinations and why it is important to get them regularly. We will cover everything from adult vaccination in India to preventive healthcare benefits, and some recommended vaccines. 

So, let's dive in and learn about the essential vaccines that can safeguard your well-being.

What is vaccination?

Expert-Recommended Vaccines That Every Adult Should Take

Vaccination is the administration of vaccines to develop immunity against the diseases. It's a proactive measure to prevent diseases rather than just treating them, and it helps your body fight infections more rapidly and effectively. 

Getting a vaccine stimulates your immune system, allowing your body to fight and memorise the pathogens, preparing it to protect against future attacks by the same germ. Over time, the immunity provided by vaccines wears off, regardless of previous vaccinations. This leaves adults prone to diseases that vaccines can prevent, including the flu, pneumonia, chickenpox, and even severe illnesses like cervical cancer.

Importance of Adult Vaccination in India

Many adults assume vaccinations are only necessary for children and overlook its importance.  However, vaccines play a significant role in preventing diseases and maintaining good health. By staying up-to-date with adult vaccinations, you can protect yourself from potentially serious diseases that require hospitalisation or even can be deadly. In this way, you can contribute your two cents towards our families and the community from infectious diseases. Furthermore, vaccinations play a crucial role in preventive healthcare by substantially lowering the chances of catching various diseases. 

So, investing in vaccinations can lead to healthier lives and reduce healthcare costs in the long run.

Expert-Recommended Vaccines for Adults

All adults above 18 should make sure they take the following vaccines:

  1. Seasonal Influenza Vaccine: The seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended for all adults, especially those with chronic medical conditions, healthcare workers, and individuals over 65. These vaccines are approved for use in children as young as 6 months. Influenza viruses can cause severe illness and even death due to COVID-19, H1N1, etc, particularly in vulnerable populations. Annual vaccinations can help protect against the evolving strains of the flu virus.
  2. Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine: The Tdap vaccine is essential for adults to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Tetanus is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection, while diphtheria and pertussis are highly contagious respiratory diseases. Adults should receive a Tdap booster every 10 years.
  3. Pneumococcal Vaccine: The pneumococcal vaccine is advised for adults over 65 and those with certain medical conditions with risk factors, such as diabetes or chronic lung disease. Pneumococcal bacteria can cause pneumonia, meningitis, and septicemia (bloodstream infections). Vaccination can help avert these severe illnesses at the earliest.
  4. Hepatitis B Vaccine: The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for adults who are at risk of contracting the hepatitis B virus, such as healthcare workers, individuals with multiple sexual partners, and those who inject drugs. Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can lead to chronic liver disease and liver cancer. 
  5. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: The HPV vaccine is recommended for males and females up to age 26. HPV is a sexually transmitted viral infection that can cause cervical, anal, and other types of cancers. Recommended for all girls and young women till 14, the HPV vaccine can protect against even the most common strains of this virus.
  6. Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine: If you have never had chickenpox or have not been vaccinated, receiving the varicella vaccine as soon as possible is recommended. Chickenpox can cause severe complications, especially in adults, and can lead to death if not timely vaccinated. Vaccination can reduce the severity of this disease if contracted.

Disease

Vaccine

Age

Risk (if not taken)

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis vaccine

Given to infants at birth,
Adult- 19 to 59 years,
Over 65 years ( for risk factors)

Chronic to the liver, recommended for high-risk groups

HPV

HPV vaccine- Gardasila

Women- less than 26 years;
Men- less than 21 years

May lead to cancer

Pneumonia

Pneumococcal vaccine

65 years or above
Every year, a Single dose

Meningitis, Pneumonia, Bloodstream infections

Tdap

Tdap vaccine

10 to 65 years
A booster after every 10 years

Prone to Tetanus (lockjaw), Pertussis (whooping cough),

Diphtheria, Breathing problems

Influenza

Annual flu vaccine

Yearly one dose, during pregnancy as well

Respiratory problems

Chickenpox

Varicella vaccine

For all age groups, 2 doses if no immunity

Pneumonia, Brain inflammation, Lifelong scars in severe cases

Check Your Vaccination Status

Your vaccination record (also referred to as immunisation record) documents all the vaccines you have received both in childhood and as an adult. These records might be necessary for various purposes, such as applying for certain jobs, travelling abroad, or for educational purposes.

Unfortunately, no organisation in India monitors vaccination records. The only vaccination records you can get are the ones given to you or your parents when you got your shots or the ones kept by the doctor's office or clinic where you got your vaccinations.

If you need official copies or need to update your health records, you may refer to the following measures to procure them:

  1. Ask parents or caregivers for childhood vaccination records.
  2. Contact high school/college medical services for vaccination dates (records may only be kept for 1-2 years after leaving, but you can give it a try).
  3. Check with previous employers, including the military, for required vaccination details.
  4. Consult with your doctor or PHCs (note: records may be kept for a limited number of years).
  5. Contact your state's health department; some have registries maintained in their systems that include adult vaccines.

Where to Get Adult Vaccination in India?

In India, adults can receive vaccinations at a range of medical facilities, such as hospitals, Primary Health Centres (PHCs), and health clinics. It is recommended to speak with your physician or check official government websites such as MoHFW, NCDC, etc to find vaccination centres close to you. To guarantee that the vaccines you need are available, it's wise to book your appointment beforehand.

Other Considerations:

  • Travel Vaccines: If you are planning to travel internationally, it is essential to check the recommended vaccines for your destination. Some countries require specific vaccinations for entry, and others may have prevalent diseases that can be prevented through vaccination.

Disease

Prone to

Remarks 

Cholera

Individuals with health conditions

To prevent diarrhoea.

Rabies

Countries with rabid animals

Usually, monkeys and dogs bite

Typhoid

Places with contaminated food and water or consuming street foods.

Children are at highest risk

Yellow fever 

Safeguards against mosquito-transmitted virus

To prevent high fever, serious cases can be deadly.

Japanese encephalitis

For regions such as Asia/ Western Pacific

Serious cases can be life-threatening

  • Regular Preventive Health Check-ups: Taking care of your health is crucial, and routine preventive screenings are just as important as vaccinations. Your healthcare provider can help you determine which screenings and tests are best for you based on your age, gender, and health history. By staying on top of these preventative measures, you can ensure a healthier, happier future.

Conclusion

It's really important to look after our health, and getting vaccinated is a big part of that. Keeping up with the vaccines doctors suggest can help keep us and everyone around us safe. 

Don't forget to talk to your doctor to figure out which vaccines you should get, depending on how old you are, your health, and how you live. Taking care of your health now means a better future for you. Insure your health by buying a health insurance plan; we at InsuranceDekho can help you. Contact us today at 7551196989 for all your health insurance needs.

So, in light of the recent health scare, it's a good time to review your vaccination status. After all, ensuring we're protected against diseases like cholera is just one shot away from leading a healthier life.

Also Read:

Best Health Insurances For Everyone

Best Health Insurance Companies

Note: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or doctor before starting any new medication or vaccination. Individual health conditions and medical histories can significantly impact the suitability and timing of vaccines, so professional guidance is crucial to ensure the best care for your specific needs.

Disclaimer

This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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