Many of the vaccines we got as children to help us develop immunity to infectious diseases last a lifetime, but not all of them do. Here’s why we need boosters.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K 2nd Dec 2021.
Adult Immunisation: 3 Absolute Importance To Learn
Many of the vaccines we got as children to help us develop immunity to infectious diseases last a lifetime, but not all of them do. To preserve immunity, tetanus and diphtheria vaccines, for example, must be renewed with a new vaccine and booster shots every ten years.
Adult vaccinations may also be required for the following reasons:
- Some adults never had their childhood vaccines.
- Vaccines and vaccination recommendations evolve throughout time. When some adults were children, some vaccines may not have been accessible.
- Over time, immunity may begin to fade.
- We grow more vulnerable to severe diseases caused by joint diseases such as the flu as we become older.
- As adults, we may work in the healthcare field or another profession that exposes us to infectious illnesses.
Which Adult Immunizations Do You Need?
Since the last set of guidelines were established, there have been significant modifications to adult vaccination recommendations. One of the most famous is the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation that all adult females under 26 get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. According to the same guidelines, males aged 13 to 21 years who have not been vaccinated should be vaccinated. Males under the age of 26 who have intercourse with other men and whose immune systems may be impaired should be vaccinated. Other noteworthy changes include:
Adults without evidence of past immunity to chickenpox should now get the varicella vaccination, according to the ACIP. Particular attention should be paid to:
- Health-care personnel and teachers, for example, are at a high risk of infection or transmission.
- Family members and anyone who come into touch with persons who have weakened immune systems are at risk.
- Shingles, the adult variant of chickenpox, may be excruciatingly painful and debilitating. People above the age of 60 and those without evidence of immunity who are known to be at risk of shingles should be vaccinated.
- Adults in specific age groups and with specific risk factors should additionally get one or more doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR), according to the ACIP. Adults who were born before 1957 are immune to measles and mumps.
- Adults who want to avoid contracting hepatitis B should get the hepatitis B vaccination. Anyone working in high-risk areas, such as STD clinics or drug rehab centres, should get a Hepatitis B vaccination. The hepatitis B vaccination should also be given to health care workers, public safety personnel, household contacts, and sexual partners of those who have chronic hepatitis B.
Adult Immunizations and Pregnancy
It is essential to ensure that your adult immunisations are up to date if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. The mother often passes on a child’s initial set of immunities and contracting some infectious illnesses while pregnant, such as rubella, dramatically raises a child’s risk of birth abnormalities.
According to the CDC, the advantages of vaccination for pregnant women typically exceed the risks of the vaccination. The chances of immunisation to a growing fetus are mainly hypothetical, but the risks of an infectious illness carried by the mother are well documented.
All pregnant women should speak with their doctor about having a flu shot and the Tdap vaccination. The Tdap vaccination protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis and should be administered to pregnant women during their third trimester.
If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, speak with your doctor before getting a live virus vaccination like chickenpox, measles, or the LAIV flu vaccine. If possible, avoid live virus vaccinations during or just before pregnancy since they may increase the chance of illness transmission to the baby. If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant and require a live virus vaccine, you should wait at least four weeks after that before attempting to conceive.