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A Look Into Suggested Vaccines for Healthy Adults

It’s a great opportunity to focus on disease control and prevention as we acknowledge Immunization Awareness this month. Vaccinations aren’t intended just for children, but for healthy adults as well. Immunizations aim to protect individuals from acquiring infections and controlling the spread of disease.  Elderly and infant caretakers, as well as people who interact with clients of low immunity or other health conditions should get vaccinated. The National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) states, “Immunization is especially important for adults 60 years of age and older, and for those who have a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, diabetes or heart disease.” 

A Look Into Suggested Vaccines for Healthy Adults:

Influenza (Flu Shot): Flu vaccinations are normally administered between September and May, before the start of the flu season in October. As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women and persons with hives-only allergy to eggs, can still get vaccinated with the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV). Individuals between 18 to 49 years can receive the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), which doesn’t contain egg protein. Keep in mind that it takes an average of two weeks for your body to build antibodies to fight the flu. Therefore, it’s best to get vaccinated prior rather than during the flu season.

“The highest fraction of prevented outcomes associated with flu vaccination was observed during the 2010-2011 season, when more than 18.5 percent of potential influenza illnesses were averted by vaccination”, states the NPHIC.

Shingles Vaccine: As noted in the CDC, “One out of every three people older than 60 years old will get shingles.” The CDC recommends adults age 60 and older to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of shingles.

Tdap: Tdap vaccine protects adults from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis diseases. According to the CDC, Tdap can be administered as a booster every 10 years for people who never got vaccinated, and also given after severe cuts and burns to prevent tetanus infection. 

Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for people traveling outside of the county, workers at risk of disease exposure, the use of illegal drugs, men who have same-sex relations, and others. The NPHIC shares that over 95 percent of adults establish immunity within one month of a single dose of hepatitis A vaccine, and close to 100 percent of people have immunity after two immunization doses.

Hepatitis B: As documented by the CDC, the following individuals should receive the Hepatitis B vaccine: sexually active people who are not in a monogamous relationship, healthcare workers, persons with certain health conditions (e.g. chronic liver disease, HIV, diabetics, and renal disease), travelers, and occupations that may expose workers to Hepatitis B.

The NPHIC relates statistical insights on Hepatitis B immunizations stating, “In healthy adults, the vaccine is 80 to 95 percent effective in preventing infection or clinical hepatitis in those who complete a hepatitis B vaccine series (usually three doses).”

Pneumococcal Vaccine: The CDC recommends the pneumococcal vaccine for adults 65 and older, and for individuals with a weakened immune system such as in clients with HIV and cancer. As noted by the NPHIC approximately 32,000 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease were reported in 2012. Of those cases, there were about 3,300 deaths. Most tragedies were seen in people 50 years or older, with the highest reports found in clients 65 years of age or older. The NPHIC comments further stating, “Overall, pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is 30 to 70 percent effective in preventing invasive pneumococcal disease, such as meningitis and bloodstream infections.”

Where can I get vaccinated?

Vaccinations are available in health clinics, doctor’s offices, hospitals, some school & universities, pharmacies, health departments, and others. To learn more on health benefits and recommendations on adult vaccinations visit the NPHIC and the CDC. Be sure to consult with your physician and healthcare providers when considering vaccinations. 

* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.

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Yeneilyn is a Registered Nurse in the state of Florida since 2006. Her nursing practice began in the field of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Hospital and expanded to care for clients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She was provided the opportunity as LPN Instructor, which changed the course of her nursing career. She states, “Teaching nursing students expanded my view on positive influences nurses contribute beyond beside care. Nurses are central leaders in health education, client advocacy, and disease prevention.” Currently, Yeneilyn writes health articles and prepares Continuing Education (C.E.) courses for healthcare professionals. She continues her studies in the field of Nursing Education and evidenced-based nursing practice. In her free time she enjoys sharing time with family and friends.

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Guest Sunday, 17 February 2019