5 Important Vaccines Every Adult Should Consider Taking In 2019

You have probably never even considered getting vaccinated as an adult. What you may have taken as a child must have been regarded as only necessary and that’s it. But have you even considered the flu vaccine? Probably not, but because of a new understanding of immunity and because there are new vaccines available, your doctor may advise you on considering getting vaccinated. Most of the vaccines mentioned here have minimum side effects like headache, fatigue, joint pain and tenderness. While doctors agree that these vaccines don’t usually have more side effects than the ones mentioned associated with them, still before taking a vaccination, first consult with your doctor and never vaccinate yourself.

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1 Influenza

Flu spreads through airborne droplets and these can be released into the air by simply talking and breathing besides coughing and sneezing. They are inhaled into the lungs resulting in symptoms like fever, body ache, cold and cough. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary since the immune system may be weakened.

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How well the vaccine works

The vaccine’s effects vary from year to year. Its efficacy will also decrease as months pass and this means one needs to take it on an annual basis. Every flu season, epidemiologists study and conclude which strains of flu are the most dangerous and vaccines are created to combat these. One-shot may not cover all strains but at least you are still protected and even if you contract flu, it won’t affect you severely.

The people who need it are those over 6 months old and who possess a risk of complications during flu such as pregnant women and those suffering from heart problem, or asthma according to Doctor William Schaffner, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine; Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee.

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2Tetanus

Tetanus is also known as lockjaw and is spread by bacteria called Clostridium Tetani. It is usually found in dirt, dust, and soil. It also gets transferred to the body from objects that are contaminated like rusty and dirty metal objects. The symptoms are muscle spasms, jaw cramps and seizures. Hospitalization is required immediately.

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How well the vaccine works

While it isn’t considered effective, it still works very well. People every 10 years usually need a shot and because this vaccine has been used widely, that is why the disease has almost been eliminated in the US. Tetanus is serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have had it years back, you should consider taking a booster.

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3Shingles

Shingles can be a painful condition accompanied by a painful rash, scarring and even possibly loss of vision. It starts from the chickenpox virus that can stay dormant in the body even after getting cured. It can get reactivated and yet doctors don’t know the triggers for it. Once reactivated, you may develop shingles as do almost one-third of people in the USA.

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How well the vaccine works

The shingles Vaccine is 50 % effective with the vaccine Zostovax and 90% effective with Shingrix. It is required by people 50 and above. The condition can be accompanied with chronic pain syndrome and there is a possibility of an increase in the risk of heart attack and stroke. While Zostovax is being phased out, Shingrix is now the most popular choice that is in shortage because of the huge demand. However, do not take the vaccine yourself and consult a doctor first.

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4Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is transmitted through intercourse and can cause genital warts, and warts of the rectum and ulcers. It is symptomless and some can catch it unwittingly. It also goes away on its own but if left untreated, it can develop into cancer.

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How well the vaccine works

According to the National Cancer Institute, the vaccine is 100 % effective and it should be taken by women up to 26 years of age and men up to age 21 who have not received the prescribed two doses. Consult your doctor about this. The vaccine has also been approved by the FDA for women up to 45 but this should be taken only after speaking with a doctor and depending on your medical history. According to the CDC, the first dose should be taken at the age of 11.

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5Varicella (aka chickenpox)

The weird thing about chickenpox s that if you have been immunized against it and have never had it you could still get it and the risk is greater when you are older. It also invites the risk of associated conditions, such as pneumonia and encephalitis. It is the varicellar zoster virus that causes chickenpox and one can get it when coming in contact with an infected person. You can also get it from someone suffering from shingles.

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How well the vaccine works

You need two doses of the vaccine that are 98% effective at preventing all forms of the condition. It is also 100 % effective against severe conditions too. All health workers and adult who have never acquired chickenpox should get it including those whose blood test shows no varicella immunity. If you receive the shot within 72 hours, then the vaccine can protect you even if you have been exposed.

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Other Adult Vaccines You Should Know about: hepatitis B

There are many vaccines that can be lifesaving which many people don’t even know about. These are hepatitis B. a condition that attacks the liver causing liver cancer, cirrhosis or liver failure. The vaccine is recommended for those who work in health care and for those who aren’t monogamous. Those suffering from diabetes aged 60 and below should also consider getting it done with advice from your doctors.

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Meningococcus and Pneumococcus

This develops into meningitis and sepsis. It is recommended for health care workers and adults with various medical conditions and those who travel to sub-Saharan countries.

Pneumococcus can develop into pneumonia and meningitis. The vaccine is advised for patients 65 and above, but some doctors also advise it for those 16-64 if they are at increased risk of pneumococcal disease because of illnesses like kidney and liver disease.

However the bottom line is that it ultimately it is your decision. With the debate raging about vaccines, it is best you consult with your doctor before getting vaccinated.

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