Adult Immunization: Saving Life

Although a vaccine injection may hurt a little, the disease that it prevents can even hurt a lot more. Vaccines have been introduced over many past years. It has been proven to prevent occurrences of particular diseases and at the same time prolonging life.

Our immune system helps our body fight against foreign particles that cause diseases. The immune system has special database that remembers and recognizes foreign particles that attack against our body, causing it to produce antibodies that fight against them.

Vaccine Agents (Antibody-Triggers)
A vaccine triggers antibodies by having agents like this:

• Toxoids – vaccines for Diphtheria and Tetanus

• Live virus – vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella

• Inactivated virus – vaccine for Influenza

• Inactive viral particles – vaccine for Hepatitis B

• Inactivated bacterial polysaccharide – vaccine for pneumococcal infections.

Recommended Vaccines
Why do need vaccines when we are already adults? Basically, some adults who were born before certain vaccines were developed may have not been vaccinated which makes them susceptible to infectious diseases. Aside from that, immunity can fade as we age and become more prone to acquiring diseases because our immune system becomes weaker.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention made the annual vaccines needed by adults which include:

• Varicella (chickenpox)

• Hepatitis B ( adults at risk)

• Measles-Mumps-Rubella

• Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis

Aside from these vaccines, influenza vaccine is also recommended for adults aged 50 years and older and pneumococcal vaccine for adults aged 65 years and above. They also advised that all health care workers must be vaccinated.

With so many infectious diseases coming through, a lot of newer vaccines have been developed. Some of those vaccines are: the Meningococcal vaccines recommended for adults aged 55 and above; and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, which is recommended for adults especially those who are sexually active and with multiple partners.

Facts regarding the need for Vaccination
Here are some interesting facts that may boost you to be vaccinated right now:

1. Each year, an average of 50,000 adults die from vaccine-preventive disease and their complications.

2. Each year, 95% of adults aged 65 years old who catch seasonal flu die because of the infection and complications

3. About 1.25 million Americans are infected with Hepatitis B virus which makes them capable of infecting family members and partners.

4. 80% of women aged 50 years old are infected with HPV virus that causes cervical cancer among women.

5. Death caused by tetanus occur mostly to adults aged 60 years and above and also those adults with diabetes.

6. Most pertussis cases (whooping cough) occur among adults.

7. If rubella happens during pregnancy, it will cause severe birth defects, miscarriages, and even stillbirths.

8. Serious complications of mumps occur mostly among adults.

9. Complications of chicken pox are commonly occurring among adolescents and adults.

10. Around 40,000 cases of bacteremia and meningitis account among adults.

11. Unvaccinated people are particularly at risk of acquiring infectious diseases compared to vaccinated one.


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