‘Adults more likely to die from vaccine-preventable diseases’

ST CORRESPONDENT
Tuesday, 28 November 2017

“This could have been prevented had he been given the pneumococcal vaccine,” said Dr Piyush Chaudhari, a specialist of Infectious Diseases at Jehangir Hospital.

PUNE: Adults are more likely to die from vaccine-preventable diseases than children, as many were not covered in the Universal Immunization Program (UIP) during childhood. Also, a lot of these vaccinations assist people with specific diseases. To address this, an Adult Vaccination Clinic has been started at Jehangir Hospital. 

A 42-year-old man from Pune, post a head injury with a basilar skull fracture in 2013, was later found with pyogenic meningitis due to pneumococci in 2017. “This could have been prevented had he been given the pneumococcal vaccine,” said Dr Piyush Chaudhari, a specialist of Infectious Diseases at Jehangir Hospital.

Dr Vikram Padbidri, the head of Infection Control at Jehangir Hospital, said that ageing adults with pneumococcal lung diseases or a missing spleen may be prone to the streptococcus organism. A simple vaccination shot will prevent tedious treatment of a potentially fatal disease,” he said. 

At the launch of the Adult Vaccination Clinic recently at Jehangir Hospital, George Eapen, CEO and Director at Jehangir Hospital, said that the need of adult vaccination should be highlighted, and how it can help keep multiple diseases at bay should be emphasised.

“Also, this one designated clinic for storage, prescription, counselling, administration of vaccines and managing data will make it much easier for people, knowing that they are in safe hands,” said Eapen.

Dr Chaudhari further added that the clinic will also help address adults who need to be vaccinated against infections.

“There is a possibility of increased susceptibility to some infections in specific groups after a certain age. The clinic aims to help people with diabetes, chronic liver, kidney, lungs or heart disease. Many patients need influenza vaccines too,” explains Chaudhari.

“The need is also magnified as vaccination for travel and business becomes imperative. Yellow Fever may not be prevalent in India, but a shot is necessary if travelling to Africa so that it’s not contracted in Africa and spread in India. Even vaccinations against tuberculosis, typhoid and meningococcal meningitis are required if you travel to the US or European countries. And these numbers have shown an upward curve and a visible need amongst Puneites,” explains Niloufer Ebrahim, Head of the Wellness Center.

Dr Padbidri said that amongst the common vaccinations for adults, vaccines such as hepatitis A and B, pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis, rabies, human papillomavirus vaccine and tetanus make the list in India. Also, the timing of the vaccine is critical. 

“There is no point getting an influenza vaccine in July when the virus is prevalent all around due to the rains. The influenza vaccine is best taken in April-May so it protects you from H1N1 and other seasonal influenza,” he added.

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