Vaccination in adults – Part 2
Vaccination can protect people from many infectious diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, herpes and shingles, papilloma, pertussis, hepatitis A and B, and many other diseases. For some of the above diseases, there is no cure, or in some cases, the complications of the disease are very severe and irreversible.
In the first section on vaccination in adults, we mentioned the causes of the need for vaccination, as well as exclusively the flu vaccine. In this section, we will look at other vaccinations needed in adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pneumonia and its complications (including bacterial meningitis) affect more than 500,000 people in the United States each year. The groups most at risk for pneumonia and its complications (including hospitalization and mortality) are people over 65, as well as people with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, acute respiratory illness and diabetic patients. Pneumonia was the eighth leading cause of death in people over 65 in 2015. These figures are five times higher in the age group over 75.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is an aerobic bacterium that can cause a range of diseases, including sinusitis and middle ear infections, in the simplest form to aggressive and dangerous cases such as pneumonia, bloodstream infection and meningitis. About 90 species of this bacterium have been identified so far, about 35-30% of which can cause human infection.
Adult vaccination of pneumonia
The first pneumonia vaccine in the United States was approved in November 1977, which prevented 14 species of pneumonia. Today, the existing pneumonia vaccine can contain 23 polysaccharides belonging to 23 different species of pneumonia bacteria, known as Pneumovax, PPSV23. In 2000, the PCV13 vaccine, which contains 13 polysaccharides from 13 other species of pneumonia bacteria, was approved by the FDA.
Safety tips for pneumonia vaccine
Pneumovax vaccine has been thoroughly studied and tested, and vaccination is completely safe in people over 2 years of age. Complications from vaccination can include local injection complications such as pain, tenderness and swelling at the injection place, as well as general complications including headache, muscle pain, feeling tired and shivering.
Recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
People over the age of 65 should receive PPSV23 at least once. If a person has received the PPSV23 vaccine before age 65, it is recommended that they receive another dose of PPSV23, 5 years after the previous vaccination.
It is also recommended that people over the age of 65 first receive a dose of PCV13 and then a dose of PPSV23 a year later. If a person receives a dose of PPSV23 after the age of 65, it is important to inject a dose of PCV13 one year after PPSV23. This interval helps keep the antibody level against pneumonia bacteria at the highest expected level.
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Old age increases the risk of developing Varicella zoster virus, which occurs in the form of shingles. Older people with the herpes zoster virus show more severe symptoms. Vaccination against the herpes zoster virus may not reduce the risk of zoster, but it certainly reduces the effects of the shingles virus, which includes neurological complications which are very painful. There are two types of vaccines approved for shingles: ZVL-Attenuated Zoster Vaccine and RZV-Recombinant Zoster Vaccine. According to ACIP, it is recommended that all people over the age of 50 be injected with two doses of the RZV-Recombinant Zoster Vaccine 2 months apart.
The pertussis vaccine is part of the common vaccine in children. Research shows that 5 to 10 years after the last vaccination of pertussis, the immunodeficiency effect in the body is eliminated in children. Therefore, a dose of Tdap booster vaccine is recommended for all adults, including those over 65 years of age.