Vaccination in Adults
Vaccination is an effective method to prevent an infection and/ or to reduce its severity and morbidity. Vaccination involves the administration of antigenic material of the micro-organisms (bacteria or viruses) responsible for the infection.
Vaccination practice in children has significantly reduced the occurence of serious and sometimes fatal infections. It has been possible to eradicate small-pox with the help of universally adopted vaccination programmes. Similarly, polio is almost eradicated except for an occasional case from most parts of the world.
While childhood vaccinations are routinely practiced, the concept of adult vaccination is not yet popular. A number of vaccinations for use in adults have now become available. A comprehensive list released by the Centre for Disease Control, USA is attached for reference.
For respiratory diseases,
we recommend following vaccinations in adults:
- Influenza vaccination: Annual administration is recommended for prevention of influenza virus infection for all individuals from children of over 6 months of age to adults. Inactivated influenza vaccine or recombinant influenza vaccine can be given.
- Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination:Two types of pneumococcal vaccine are available for use.i.13-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV-13).
A single dose is recommended for:
- All adults of over 65 years of age.
- Adults of 19-64 years of age with chronic diseases (Ch respiratory or heart disease, diabetes, chronic renal failure, etc), immunosuppressive diseases or on immunosuppressant drugs, and smokers.
ii.23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine (PPSV 23).
These vaccinations are administered through intra-muscular injection in the deltoid muscle.
Both influenza and pneumococcal vaccination are safe. There can be local pain, redness and swelling over the site of injection for a few hours or so. Mild fever can occur occasionally. Serious reactions such as spinal myelitis or Gullain Barre syndrome are extremely rare, following inactivated, live influenza virus vaccination.
Both influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations reduce, not eliminate altogether the risk of occurrence of infection.