Vaccines and immunizations do not necessarily stop once we become grown-ups. Even as adults, we are still susceptible to numerous illnesses and vulnerable to their complications. Protecting oneself is not only an adulting essential but also a way of looking out for the people you interact with.
Below are the recommended immunizations for adults you should consider getting in the coming days. Unlike the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine, the vaccines on this list have been tested and proven safe, and are recommended by reputable medical groups such as the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Consult your physician first before getting any of these to avoid allergic reactions and complications, especially if you’re pregnant.
1. Tetanus, Diptheria, Acellular Pertussis
Also known as TDAP, this three-in-one shot is recommended generally for adults, especially for those ages 60 and up. Women who are pregnant and have had TDAP are not only protected from the three aforementioned diseases, the fetus their carrying is protected as well.
Tetanus is typically acquired when an open wound gets contaminated with the tetanus bacteria, which paralyzes the muscles and can lead to death. As such, TDAP is a recommended booster shot for adults to take every 10 years. Being up to date with your TDAP booster will prevent you having to have an emergency tetanus shot if you suffer an accident.
More commonly known as flu or trangkaso, influenza is a viral respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat, and lungs, and causes fever and body aches. Adults are encouraged to get flu vaccination yearly especially those of ages 50 years old and up, those with medical conditions like emphysema, and those who work at hospitals and in health-related professions.
3. Human Papilloma Virus
HPV has over a hundred strains and some types develop into cancer. A completed three-shots series of the HPV vaccine provides a lifetime safeguard against HPV-related cancer like cervical cancer. It also prevents transmission of genital warts. This shot is recommended for both females and males.
4. Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a severe disease that causes lifetime infection, liver cancer, and liver failure, which can result in death. This disease transmitted through bodily fluids, blood contact with an infected person or through sexual intercourse. An infected pregnant mother can also pass it on to her newborn.
The varicella vaccination prevents chickenpox or bulutong in FIlipino, which is a highly contagious blister-like rash. Chickenpox is also accompanied by fatigue and fever and these symptoms are often more severe in adult sufferers than in children. The danger about the varicella virus is that it can be quite easily transmitted as it is airborne and can also be contracted via contact with an infected person saliva and skin.
6. Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
Back in the day, people often had to sadly accept that they or their loved ones could be brought to their deathbed from a measles infection. Rubella, on the other hand, may cause mild discomfort in an adult sufferer but – if the sufferer is a pregnant woman – may cause miscarriage during the first trimester. An MMR three-in-one shot protects both kids and adults and is highly encouraged for pregnant mothers.
A severe lung infection, pneumonia typically attacks the elderly and is a leading cause of death in the older population. That is why adults of ages 65 and older are encouraged to get a shot. Cigarette smokers younger than 65 are also recommended to get this kind of vaccines. Depending on the need and the case, this type of vaccine can be repeated after five years.
Sources: Medicard Philippines, Smart Parenting, Vaccines.gov, The Philippine Star, Clinical Advisor, The Filipino Doctor