After reaching adolescent and adulthood, most of us probably thought that vaccinations are a thing of the past. The shots we had when we were babies and kids. Well, this is certainly not true, according to CDC (Center for Disease Control; USA) and PAPDI (Perhimpunan Ahli Penyakit Dalam Indonesia), vaccination for adults are highly recommended to prevent from contracting a disease and/or the recurrence of a disease. Be aware; there are schedules of recommendations for adult vaccination, just like the ones for infants and children.
Let’s review the whats, whys, and whos of vaccinations!
What is a Vaccine?
Vaccine is basically a shot given to you mostly in the muscle of the arm, but sometimes may be in other parts of the body. Yes, it’s scary to some, but Vaccines are more than just a shot attempting to just make you experience pain. Vaccine is composed of a bacteria or a virus, which are weakened, killed, or inactivated, and in some vaccines only a modified structure of certain parts (proteins) of the bacteria/virus are used. When injected to the body, these components triggers us to produce an antibody. Think of it as having a troop of highly trained army with weapons that are specialized to fight a particular disease. Cool eh?
Why is it so important to be Vaccinated?
Even if you have been vaccinated as a child, the protection levels towards certain diseases wear off with time, or the viruses and bacterias evolve and mutate which makes our previous version of antibodies less protective, if not completely useless. Therefore, it is necessary for our immune system to be boosted. Think of it as installing an update for your body’s operating system and/or antivirus. It’s basically the same concept anyway!
Who are we really Vaccinating for?
Another thing that’s important in the effort of disease containment is herd immunity. Since some small percentage of people cannot take vaccines, such as infants, those with compromised immune system, and those who are allergic to a certain component in the vaccines, this type of immunity protects them. So, if you are not getting vaccinated, when you know you should, that really is the most egotistical and ignorant behavior of all time. You’re not only endangering yourself against the diseases if you’re not getting vaccinated. It’s not just about preventing from getting the disease, but also from spreading them.
“When most members of the community are vaccinated, they protect those who are not by eliminating the viral reservoir in the population. This effect is known as Herd Immunity.”
~Michael Specter, The New York Times~
Adult Vaccination Recommendation (PAPDI, 2013)
So, here’s the recommendation of Adult Vaccination by PAPDI, there are two tables; 1. for healthy adults, and 2. for adults with certain health conditions (click on the image to view large version)
- Fine P, Eames K, Heymann DL. “Herd Immunity” A Rough Guide. Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom. Vaccines. Clin Infec Dis 2011:52, 7: 911-916.
- Fine PEM, Mulholland K. Community immunity. In: Plotkin SA, Orenstein WA, Offit PA eds. Vaccines. 5th ed. Chapter 71. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Inc., 2008:1573–92.
- Mossong J, Hens N, Jit M, Beutels P, Auranen K, et al. Social contacts and mixing patterns relevant to the spread of infectious diseases. PLoS Med 2008; 5:e74 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050074
- Rekomendasi SATGAS Imunisasi Dewasa PAPDI, 2013.