Vaccination is a safe and cost-effective way to stay healthy, and it’s not just for kids only! Vaccines are recommended for adults as well to protect them from serious and sometimes deadly infections.
10 Reasons for adult vaccinations
The best reasons to get vaccinated are to protect yourself and to protect the people around you.
- You may no longer be protected.
You may have received a vaccine as a child. But some vaccines require a booster if you want to remain protected against diseases like pertussis (whooping cough) or tetanus. Experts recommend a booster every 10 years after an initial dose of Tdp vaccine in childhood.
- Getting vaccines helps protect your kids — especially babies too young for vaccines.
Whooping cough and flu vaccines are recommended for pregnant women (preferably between 27 and 36 weeks’ gestation to protect the new born.
- Some vaccines are just for adults.
The shingles vaccine is a good example. Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. It is recommended for adults 60 and older.
- Vaccines needed when you travel.
The yellow fever vaccination is required for travel to parts of sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. The Saudi Arabian government also requires the meningococcal vaccination for travel during the Hajj. It is safer to take vaccination against hepatitis A before travelling to endemic areas.
- Flu vaccine.
Everyone needs a flu vaccine, every year. Experts recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine annually.
- You didn’t get fully vaccinated as a child.
If you didn’t get vaccines for things like measles, mumps, and rubella or chickenpox as a child, you need them as an adult.
- Newer vaccines have been developed.
Some vaccinations recommended for adults are fairly new. For instance, the FDA approved the first HPV vaccine and shingles vaccine in 2006. HPV vaccine works against Human Papilloma Virus infection and helps prevent cancer of cervix and genital warts. It is recommended for boys and girls when they become sexually active and for women up to age 26 years.
- For health care professionals.
Health care providers are exposed to all sorts of potential infections, as well as blood and bodily fluids. Most are required to have not only a complete vaccination series and evidence of immunity, but also to get annual influenza vaccination. This includes things like measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and hepatitis B.
- For those who are sexually active with multiple partners.
The hepatitis B vaccine is highly recommended. Hepatitis B can be transmitted from person to person through contact with blood, semen, and vaginal fluid. It is 50-100 times more easily to be infected by hepatitis B than by HIV.
- Vaccine to protect against pneumonia
If you have asthma, heart, lung disease, diabetes, or other chronic disease or you smoke cigarettes, or your immune system is otherwise compromised, you need pneumococcal vaccine. All above the age 65 years should receive one dose of pneumococcal vaccine.
The pneumococcal vaccine helps prevent serious disease such as pneumonia, meningitis, and blood infection caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.