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Vaccinations are equally important to adults as to children

Posted by : Mr. Sreehari Nair, 21 Apr 2014 03:32 PM
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After decades of determination, India finally was declared Polio free by WHO in 2014. Immunization against common childhood diseases has been an integral component of mother and child health services in India since adoption of the primary health care approach in 1978 being reinforced by the Declaration of Health Policy in 1983.

The UIP in India targets 27 million infants and 30 million pregnant women every year. Since the launch  of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in 2005, more than 15 billion dollars have been provided to the states in addition to their budgets, for strengthening health systems and infrastructure with key focus on reproductive and child health, including immunization.

Dr. Monica Goel, Consultant Physician, P.D.Hinduja Hospital & MRC talks exclusively on the occasion of World Immunization Week.

What are the vaccinations an adult should take if he or she has missed taking a few early on?
Twinrix is a combination of Hep A and B for more than 18 years of age. The dosage of A is less than in the single antigen HepA vaccine, allowing it to be given in a 3 day schedule.

Is there any age limit for taking a vaccination?
H1N1 vaccine, live attenuated can be given from the age group of 2 to 49 years, female who are not pregnant. Varicella, hepatitis A and B HPV and MMR are for people who did not get these as children.

What’s the vaccination schedule for adults?
Vaccines are still underutilized at times. With a proper history and patient profile in mind the relevant vaccines can be given to the patient.

What are some of the common myths you come across adults on immunization?
It is sometimes a myth in the minds of many that vaccines are only for children and adults do not need them.

What is the status report of India?
Complying with the indications appropriate vaccines can be lifesaving and the health care provider should explain the benefits to the patient as well as the risk if any.

What happens if a child misses a vaccine shot? Will the child be exposed to that disease for sure? Would taking it later cause any problem?
It is always better to take the vaccine shot than never even if you have missed a schedule. Not completing the course could mean that your child may get exposed to that particular disease. Like the adage goes: Prevention is better than cure. So make sure all shots are taken on schedule and even if delayed, complete the course.  

 

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