PSA: Here's A List Of Important Vaccinations For Adults

What vaccines should you have as a young adult?
PHOTO: istockphoto

Everyone has their fair share of vaccination stories from childhoodthe anticipation about going to the doctor and getting that shot, the final pinch, the painful screaming or jubilation that came afterespecially if your doctor was the type who plied you with lollipops. 

No matter the story though, those little pinches from childhood heralded one of the greatest of gifts to youimmunity from disease.

In today’s context of widespread misinformation, vaccines are a hot topicand it is a tragedy that we are beginning to see a reemergence of diseases that have long been unheard of. It is everyone’s responsibility to learn as much as they can about this, and hopefully make informed decisions about what will protect us all.

As adults, we may think our time for vaccines is over, but that isn’t true! Here is our primer on vaccineswhat they are, which you need, where to get them, and how they can be good for you and everyone around you.

Continue reading below ↓

What is a vaccine?

A vaccine is a substance made from weakened or killed microorganisms intended to increase your immunity to certain diseases.

Vaccines work by introducing a killed or weakened form of a pathogen into your system and encouraging it to make antibodies against this disease. Antibodies work by recognizing viruses and knowing how best to eliminate them. They are your body’s little soldiers, always ready for battle. However, as with any warit is best to know your enemy, and vaccines help our bodies do just that.

What vaccines should you have as a young adult?

The following vaccination recommendations for young adults (aged 19 to 49) were taken from The Philippine Foundation for Vaccination and the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Disease Adult Immunization Recommendation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Influenza

What it protects you against: Influenza or the flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease with symptoms like fever, chills, cough, nasal congestion, and fatigue that can last from days to weeks. While seemingly not so bad, serious influenza complications can develop in the elderly, pregnant women, children, and those with chronic disease.
For: All adults, especially those with asthma, COPD, heart disease, cancer, or HIV
How many shots: One dose every year (usually given from February to June, but can be given throughout the year)
Cost: Approximately P600 to P1,500

Continue reading below ↓

HPV

What it protects you against: HPV causes genital warts, is the major cause of cervical cancer in women, and anal cancer in both men and women. It is alarmingly common in teens and young adults, and many people don’t realise they’ve been infected until they get very sick many years later.
For: Women between nine to 55 years old and men between 10 to 26 years old who haven’t been previously vaccinated during childhood
How many shots: Three doses
Cost: Approximately P3,800 to P8,700 (The price depends on how many strains are covered.)

Hepatitis B


What it protects you against: The Hepatitis B infection is a blood-borne disease that is caused by the hepatitis B virus. It has flu-like symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, rash, or jaundice. The problem, however, is that the virus stays in the liver for the rest of your life, which may result in liver cancer.
For: All adults who have not been previously vaccinated in childhood, especially ALL healthcare workers always in contact with blood products or instruments
How many shots: Three doses
Cost: Approximately P850 to P1,600

Continue reading below ↓

Tetanus, Diphtheria Acellular Pertussis (Tt. Td, Tdap)

What it protects you against: Diptheria is a highly contagious bacterial respiratory disease. The Diphtheria bacteria produces a toxin that causes weakness, sore throat, low grade fever, or swollen glands in the neck. In really severe cases however, it can lead to heart failure or paralysis. Pertussis or Whooping Cough is a bacterial respiratory infection that causes prolonged cold symptoms, which can progress to violent coughing and choking that can make it difficult to breathe, drink, or eat. It is most dangerous for babies, who can get it from the adults they are with. Tetanus is an incredibly painful bacterial disease that you can get from cuts or wounds. The tetanus bacteria produces toxins in the body that causes spasms and stiffness, and can lead to locking of the jaw where you cannot open your mouth, swallow, or breathe.
For:
-All adults aged 19 to 64 whose last vaccine was more than 10 years ago;
-All adults in close contact with infants less than 12 months;
-All women of childbearing age before pregnancy or immediately after;
-All healthcare professionals with direct patient contact.
How many shots: One dose Tdap, then Td booster every 10 years
Cost: Approximately P2,500 to P3,000

Continue reading below ↓

Additionally, the following vaccines are important for adults to have, especially if they were not given to you in childhood:


Pneumococcal

What it protects you against: The pneumococcal vaccine protects you against Pneumonia. Some infections may be mild, however, in cases of patients with other diseases, it may spread to the bloodstream (bacteremia), or the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
For: All adults, especially those with asthma, COPD, heart disease, cancer, or HIV
How many shots: One dose (Every year or every five years, depending on which type you received. Best to check with your doctor.)
Cost: Approximately P1,800 to P5,550

Varicella


What it protects you against: Varicella or chicken pox causes an itchy rash with blisters, fever, headache, and tiredness. What usually is a pretty mild course can progress to complicated skin infections, pneumonia, and even encephalitis or a brain infection.
For: All adults without previous varicella vaccination, especially non-pregnant women of childbearing age. It’s also important to get this if you’ve never had chicken pox before.
How many shots: Two doses
Cost: Approximately P3,200 to P4,200

Continue reading below ↓

Measles, Mumps, Rubella

What it protects you against: Measles is a contagious disease that is passed through the air when infected person coughs or sneezes. It starts with cough, a runny nose, red eyes, and a fever, then will progress to a rash that begin at the head and spread to the rest of the body. Mumps is an infectious disease that causes fever and painful swelling of the salivary glands beneath the jaw, among other symptoms. Rubella is a viral disease that presents as fever, swollen glands, and a rash. If someone pregnant catches rubella, miscarriage, or birth defects such as heart, hearing, or vision defects may happen.
For:
-All adults who were not previously vaccinated in childhood
-Adults at higher risk for infectionincluding those working in hospitals, schools
-All adults who travel to areas with suboptimal vaccine coverage.
-It is also recommended for women planning to get pregnant. These women are also advised not to get pregnant for until three months after administration.
How many shots: One to two doses given at least 28 days apart
Cost: Approximately P1,300 to P3,800

Continue reading below ↓

What if I am not sure of my vaccine status? Will it hurt to get another dose of a vaccine already given to me?

The one of the best ways would be to ask your parents if they still have a copy of your baby book from when you were little. Other options include going back to your pediatrician to retrieve your vaccine record, or checking with your school or work clinic, where proof of vaccine history is often required.

If you can’t find your records, you may need some vaccines again—this is not ideal, but it is safe. Doctors can also request for certain blood tests to see if you’re immune from some vaccine-preventable diseases. If lacking anygetting an extra dose of a vaccine doesn’t increase your risk for adverse events, even if you’ve received it previously. The only permanent contraindication to vaccination is severe allergy to a prior dose of the vaccine.

Continue reading below ↓

Finally, remember that when deciding what vaccines you might need or not, it’s advisable that you go straight to your doctor for that discussion.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Vaccines are available at primary care clinics, pharmacies, diagnostics centers, and maybe even your school or workplace clinic.

Can I be given more than one vaccine in one doctor’s visit?

Generally, yes. There are no contraindications to simultaneous administration of any vaccines except for Cholera and Yellow Fever. Best to ask your doctor which ones can be given at the same time.

How important is it for me to be vaccinated? Is it safe?

According to the CDC, every year, millions of people get sick and are hospitalized because of vaccine-preventable diseases. Even if you received those painful shots as a child, the immunity rendered by some of these may wear off in the long run. There are also certain professions, travel, or health conditions that make you more susceptible to getting sick because of exposure.

Continue reading below ↓

It’s important to note that many anti-vaccine stories are spread through social media. Remember that most of these aren’t based on scientific evidenceand could put you and your loved ones as risk. The World Health Organization (WHO) cites vaccine hesitancyrefusing or delaying vaccines despite its accessibility to youas one of the biggest threats to global health at the moment. Remember that vaccines are thoroughly tested and it takes many years and so much research for a vaccine to made available. Science has shown over and over again that vaccines workand their side effects, incredibly rare as they areare far less serious that the diseases you can get by not vaccinating.

To best care for yourself and others, don’t hesitate to vaccinate. Make sure your vaccines are complete and up-to-date.

Note: The prices for vaccines mentioned above are rough estimates based on diagnostic centers and family clinics. Prices may vary from center to center.

Continue reading below ↓

Sources: Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, Vaccine Knowledge Project, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2)

Recommended Videos
Sorry, no results were found for