Adults and Elderly People Need to Be Vaccinated Too
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Immunizations are not just for children. Protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off over time. All adults need immunizations to help them prevent getting and spreading serious diseases that could result in poor health, missed work, medical bills, and not being able to care for family. As we age our immune system weakens and puts us at higher risk for certain diseases such as shingles and pneumonia.
The Royal College of Physician Thailand approved recommended immunization schedule for adults and elderly 2014. There are 2 groups of vaccines.
- Vaccines for all adults and elderly if no contraindications
- Influenza vaccine – especially for adults over 65 years old and people aged 19-62 with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, people who have to be admitted at least 1 time per year from chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, hematologic condition, and immunocompromised patients
- Pneumococcal vaccine – for all adults over 65 years
- Hepatitis B vaccine – for patients who need hemodialysis or frequently receive blood products. It is also recommended for patients with heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and immunocompromised patients.
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines – every 10 years
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) – protects against the human papillomaviruses that causes cervical cancer. It is recommended for females aged between 9-26
- Vaccines for patients who are at risk or have chronic health conditions
- Pneumococcal vaccine – people aged between 19-64 years with heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cigarette smoking and alcoholism.
- Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine – If you have not had chickenpox (varicella), if you have not had varicella vaccine, or if you do not have an up-to-date blood test that shows you are immune to varicella, you should get vaccinated especially for teachers, childcare workers, and non-pregnant women of child-bearing age.
- Shingles vaccine – recommended for adults 60 years and older. It protects against shingles and the complications from the disease.
- Human papillomavirus vaccine – prevents anal and penile cancer. The vaccine is recommended in male aged between 19-26 years especially men in sexual relationship with men.
- Hepatitis A vaccine – especially adolescents and young adults
- Japanese encephalitis vaccine – recommended for people who will travel for Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia, and people who will travel to areas where the disease is common.
Vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available. You may need other vaccines based on your age, health conditions, job, lifestyle, or travel habits. Consult your doctor about which vaccines are right for you.