Adults Also Need to be Vaccinated

When you were little, your mother- God bless all mothers- took you to the hospital to get polio, MMR and other vaccines just so you will be strong for her. I am sure you can picture that even if you can’t remember it clearly?

After the doctor had shot the medical liquid into you, your high-pitch cry rented the air and then she looked into your eyes, dabbed your tears with her hands and smiled that smile you can only see in the faces of mothers- a mother’s love is the greatest of all.

You were lucky as a child to have received the recommended immunizations for children- some were not as lucky as you were and they are suffering from that deprivation today- but now that you are an adult, there are some recommended vaccines you should go for, especially if you desire to stay ahead of the likes of cervical cancer, tetanus, hepatitis and shingles.

Let’s look at them each by each, shall we?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

I want to believe that you have heard quite a lot about cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix caused by the Human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is mainly trasnmitted through sexual intercourse.

Cervarix and Gardasil are the two vaccines for the protection against HPV infection. While Cervarix shields women against cancer of the cervix, Gardasil offers protection to both men and women against genital warts, anal and mouth cancer.

In some hospitals in Nigerian, the cost of HPV vaccine is about N 12, 000 and a girl would need three doses. Which means a complete dose would cost N 36, 000.

Apart from giving the vaccine to children beginning at age 9 years so that they are protected before they become sexually active, it is available for girls and women age 13 through age 26 years who have not been vaccinated before.

Hepatitis Vaccine

Hepatitis A and B can cause serious liver damages and even death if not properly managed.

While hepatitis A virus can be transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or through direct contact with an infected person, Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted by contact with blood and infected bodily fluids of an infected person, such as during unprotected sex or use of unsterilized items like clippers, toothbrushes, earrings or needles used or belonging to the infected person. An infect mother can also transmit Hep B virus to her newborn during delivery.

All these can be prevented with the hepatitis A and B vaccines.

Consult your doctor on how to get the vaccine.

Chickenpox Vaccine

Chickenpox is caused by the Varicella-zooster virus (VZV) and it could attack anybody, especially people who have not been vaccinated or hit by it before.

If chickenpox is not properly managed in older people it could result to Varicella pneumonia and this could lead to a sudden death in pregnant women if left unchecked.

The chickenpox vaccine offers protection against all of these and it is recommended for children less than 13 years old, adolescents and adults who have neither been vaccinated nor had chickenpox before.

Note:  You shouldn’t bother with the vaccine if you’ve had chickenpox before.

Tetanus Vaccine

The bacterium Clostridium tetani which causes tetanus are found in the environment especially in the soil, dust and animal faeces. It enters the body through wounds or cuts and can lead to severe muscle spasms, lockjaws which means that the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. A one-time Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis) vaccine and a Td (tetanus-diphtheria) booster every 10 years are all it takes to prevent tetanus among children, adolescents and adults.

MMR Vaccine

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) can be mild in children but in adults, they come with serious complications like encephalitis and pneumonia.

An MMR vaccine offers protection against measles, mumps and rubella and it is recommended for all adults who have neither had the vaccination nor suffered from the virus.

Rubella Vaccine

Rubella (German measles) is very contagious and can be spread in the air. It can result to serious health consequences in pregnant women such as congenital miscarriage and premature delivery.

Unvaccinated adults, especially intending mothers should see a healthcare provider for this vaccine.

Shingles Vaccine

Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the reawakening of Varicella zoster virus (which caused chickenpox) in an older person. It comes when a person advances in age.

The very symptom of shingles is a painful, blistering rash which can then burst and turn into sores before healing. A condition referred to as Postherpetic neuralgia may result and it refers to the lingering pain of the shingles long after they have disappeared. People with this rash can also infect others with chickenpox.

A single dose of shingles vaccine is what is needed by people in their 70s to keep them ahead of the disease.

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