Timely immunisation key for both children and adults: HCFI New Delhi August 25, 2016: Immunisations, also known as vaccinations, help protect you from getting an infectious disease. When you get vaccinated, you help protect others as well. Vaccines are very safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than an infectious disease. Raising awareness Dr KK Aggarwal – President HCFI & Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “Immunization can protect against 25 different infectious agents or diseases, from infancy to old age. The most common diseases include measles, polio, and tetanus amongst others. However the level of awareness about the need for immunisation is low in India. While majority of the people are aware that children need regular vaccinations, there exists a high level of ignorance about the importance of adult vaccinations. Vaccines can help protect a person from serious and sometimes deadly diseases and timely vaccination is extremely important especially for all those above the age of 65 years of age.” A few tips • It is recommended that all individuals above the age of 18 get a yearly flu vaccine. This is a crucial requirement for those above the age of 65, diabetics and heart patients. • Tetanus Toxoid vaccination must be administered every 10 years in adults with an extra dose to be given after five years. • Elderly people after the age of 60 years may require Herpes zoster vaccination. • All adults irrespective of their age should be given full coverage from hepatitis B • Most adult vaccinations are administered intra-muscular on the shoulder muscle • Pneumonia and flu vaccines can be given at the same sitting. • Most vaccination are safe and cause only minor side effects • Research shows that administering the flu vaccination to heart patients and diabetics helps reduce morbidity and mortality • Replacing trivalent OPV with bivalent OPV is a significant step that has been made in polio eradication and that the IMA has been supporting. The currently used OPV contains all thee polio serotypes – type 1, 2 and 3 and its use has led to the eradication of wild poliovirus type 2. The switch from tOPV to bOPV removes the type 2 component (OPV2) from the vaccine. The switch from trivalent to bivalent vaccine has to be globally synchronised to minimise the risk of new cVDPV type 2 emergence.