Adult Immunization & Vaccination: Cost-Effective Disease Prevention
Thanks to the success of national vaccination and immunization programs, we have managed to take control over several debilitating infectious diseases. Polio, a crippling nerve degenerating viral infection, has been virtually eliminated from the United States because of an organized comprehensive prevention program. Vaccinations not only save lives, but millions of dollars as well. For every dollar spent on vaccines, several dollars are saved in reduced health care costs.
Adult immunization and vaccination are terms that are often used synonymously. However, immunization refers to the process of acquiring immunity, whereas vaccination refers to the administration of vaccines.
Adult immunization to certain diseases can be achieved from formulas called vaccines, which contain “antigens”, or parts of a specific virus or bacteria. When the antigens are introduced, the immune system creates a protein called an antibody or immunoglobulin targeted against it that enables the system to identify and fight the microorganism. The polio vaccine is the definitive example of a successful immunization program that has all but eradicated the polio virus. The polio vaccine is based on a live polio virus that is “attenuated” (weakened in the laboratory) so as to cause an immune response but not the disease itself.
Other types of vaccines that are used to stimulate antibodies are whole (living or inactivated) or fractionated bacteria, biosynthetic and toxoid (which actually is modified from a toxin produced by a bacteria).
Children: Standard protocols for childhood immunizations.
Adults: Maintaining immunity into adulthood.
Travelers: International travel requirements and recommendations.
Bioterrorism: Protection from manufactured biological agents.
Reducing the Risks of Adult Immunization
The risk of side effects of adult immunization has been a concern of health professionals and patients alike. Side effects can include everything from mild physical discomfort in the form of rashes or body aches to more serious reactions that, in extreme instances, could be life threatening. The introduction of foreign agents into an individual always carries some risk.
As clinical trials establish the effectiveness and potential risks of new formulas, the benefits of vaccination (lower health costs, and lower pain, suffering and mortality) outweigh the negatives. Traditionally, these formulations have been based on the actual bacteria and viruses themselves that have been modified in laboratories. With the advent of genetic technology, new formulas based on DNA, which can be synthesized by scientists, are being tested and show great promise.
A major concern, particularly involving vaccines that were produced years ago (such as the current supply of smallpox vaccine) is the use of preservatives, such as thimerosal, that contain mercury. Thimerosal has been used as a vaccine preservative for over half a century; concerns about increased mercury concentration in food and other substances have made its use an issue.
What Vaccines Are Recommended for Adults
The adults are often convinced that immunization is not for them but only for babies and children. But the truth is that the effects of childhood vaccines can’t last forever and prevent the diseases in adulthood.
The immunizations are required for the adults to assist them in protecting themselves against developing the life-threatening diseases which may become an outcome of the dissatisfactory overall health, bad lifestyle, abusive work, and different life problems.
It’s possible to distinguish the following vaccines for adults:
- All adults have to get a flu (influenza) vaccine once per year. It’s a seasonal vaccine. It is very crucial for the adults, suffering from chronic diseases as well as for pregnant women and older people.
- Each adult person has to receive a one dose of Tdap if this person didn’t get this vaccine during the period of adolescence for the prevention of pertussis, or whooping cough. After this, the adult has to be vaccinated against tetanus and diphtheria. For this purpose, the adults have to get Td booster at 10 year intervals. Also, it’s strongly recommended for women to receive a Tdap shot during each pregnancy. In this case, it’s advisable for the women to do this between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.
If the adults were not immunized being children, the healthcare practitioner will adjust the immunization schedule for such adults by taking into account their medical history and current state of health.
Taking Care of Immunizations Records
You are liable for maintaining your immunization history accurately in safety along with the other medical data and important identification papers.
Maintenance of vaccination records is a matter of great significance because with a high probability these records can be demanded for getting some jobs, traveling, and other purposes.
So, you can easily calculate whether it’s time for you to vaccinate. By using special tabs, describing the vaccines for adults and terms of getting these vaccines, you will understand which vaccine you have to receive.
The healthcare provider will help you keep abreast of the vaccination schedule precisely, By the way, if you need to be vaccinated, it doesn’t mean you should interrupt your habitual way of living, including the intake of diet pills, adherence to a certain nutrition plan, and fulfilment of workout routine.
Multiple Vaccines for Adults
Plausible scientific evidence indicates that the simultaneous administration of several vaccines can’t lead to the aggravation of existing chronic diseases and/or to the development of new medical problems. In fact, the abundance of clinical trials has been conducted to check how different vaccines can be combined and how such combinations may affect the human health. Also, there were many studies, investigating how each new licensed vaccine interacts with the already successfully applied vaccines. The scientists found out that the high-quality licensed vaccines demonstrate the same efficacy and safety when both separately during each following visit or simultaneously during one visit to the healthcare practitioner. Moreover, for the healthy individuals, the doctors don’t set an upper-bound constraint for the number of vaccine shots that may be got at once.
Usually, there is no need for getting multiple doses of vaccines provided that you timely adhere to the vaccination schedule. However, sometimes, when you miss some vaccine shots, you may for some reasons urgently need the immunization to be done on a full-scale basis. In this case, you can get up to seven vaccine shots per one visit to a doctor even provided that you take the best fat burning pills or any other supplements. You will not forget about the vaccination if you regularly consult your healthcare provider.
Possible Contraindications to Vaccination
It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of adult immunization for the health of a particular person and population as a whole. But there is a range of situations, when it’s may be recommended to put the adult vaccination on hold for a while. They are as follows:
- Moderate or severe acute illness
- Anaphylactic reaction to latex
- Allergies to medications
- Allergies to food
- History of anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of vaccine or vaccine component
- Availability of a long-term medical conditions such as diabetes, spinal fluid leak, complement component deficiency, kidney disease, lung disease, blood disorder, asthma, cochlear implant, heart disease, and absence of spleen
- Availability of immune system diseases and HIV/AIDS
- Leukemia and cancer
- Family history of congenital or hereditary immunodeficiency
In all the mentioned cases, the delay in vaccination should last till the improvement of situation.
How to Prepare for Adult Immunization Appointment
It’s possible to distinguish a range of activities you need to carry out in order the adult vaccination could be done without any problems.
Before the Appointment
When you have already scheduled the vaccination appointment, you should first of all find the vaccination records. It’s great if you know where your records are. But if you don’t, you should:
- Check whether your parents have your vaccination records
- Talk to the healthcare providers you consulted previously
- Get to know whether the former employers have your list of vaccinations if they required it for the employment
- Get to know whether your high school, college, or university preserve your vaccination records
Also, if you want to clarify something concerning the upcoming vaccination, it’s recommended to prepare the list of your questions beforehand. By doing this, you will not forget to ask the important vaccination-related questions, for example about the possibility of taking testosterone boosters, during the visit to a doctor.
During the Appointment
Being in the doctor’s office, you should get acquainted with a Vaccine Information Statement aimed at the explanation of the advantages and possible dangers of a particular adult vaccine. If the healthcare provider forgets to offer you this document, you should remind about this.
It’s crucial to get to know about all the details of forthcoming vaccination prior you get a shot.
It may happen that the vaccination will be contraindicated to you, but not because of the use of natural carb blockers, on a particular day of appointment. Thus, during the appointment, you should inform the healthcare provider in case that you:
- Suffer from any allergic reactions
- Had the experience of severe vaccination complications during the previous vaccine shots
- Are pregnant or are preparing for pregnancy
- Are not healthy at the date of appointment
If you can’t calm down before the vaccination, you should practice some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, distracting your attention from the syringe, and relaxing the muscles.
After you get a vaccine shot, don’t forget to run through the vaccination records to make sure that these records contain the information about your last shot.
After the Appointment
The majority of adults experience no severe adverse reactions after vaccination. The most widespread adverse reactions are typically mild. These reactions are as follows:
- Redness, swelling, pain, and inflammation at the site of injection
- Mild fever
- Joint and muscle pain
If you experience some of the mentioned adverse reactions, you should:
- Substantially increase the water consumption
- Place a cool, damp washcloth at the aching injection site
- Use a non-aspirin pain alleviation drug if the healthcare provider deems it necessary
If you feel worried about some symptoms or reactions after the vaccination, you shouldn’t hesitate to consult your healthcare provider.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, however, the single most important factor to be considered is the improvement in the quality of life and longevity for those receiving this kind of protection from illness. For both public health and economic reasons, the development of programs to immunize and protect the public from exposure to debilitating illnesses is an essential cornerstone of health care in the 21st century.