21 Major Vaccinations: The Health Benefits of Being Vaccinated and Immunized

July 29, 2021

Vaccination is the administration of a vaccine either orally or through an injection to induce immunity against a particular disease; it is essential as it protects an individual from contracting an infectious illness. Being vaccinated does protect not only an individual but also the community. Vaccination prevents the complications associated with most infectious diseases which result in amputation, brain damage, and paralysis; and protects both present and future generations by eradicating most preventable life-threatening diseases Immunization is the protection an individual obtains against infectious disease through vaccination. Immunization occurs across the lifespan such as infants, children, adolescents, and adults.

Varicella Vaccine

Infants and children receive the varicella vaccine, and its primary purpose is to protect a child from contracting chickenpox. In the US,  two types of varicella vaccine exist. The first is the Varivax which contains the chickenpox vaccine and is given to children above twelve months, adolescents, and adults. The second is the ProQuad which is administered in early childhood. Children are administered two doses of the varicella vaccine by thirteen years based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirement. For an individual above thirteen years who have not received the varicella vaccine, they should get both doses at a difference of twenty-eight days apart.

Rotavirus Vaccine

Children receive the rotavirus vaccine to protect against rotavirus. Rotavirus is a contagious disease that causes vomiting, diarrhea, and severe dehydration that may necessitate hospitalization. The vaccine is administered during infantry by mouth. In the US, there are two types of Rotavirus vaccines that are approved. The first vaccine is the RotaTeq provided at two months, four months, and six months. The second is the Rotarix which children receive at two months and four months.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

 It prevents infections of Hepatitis A and is administered to children between twelve and twenty-three months, including children and adolescents who are yet to be vaccinated and pregnant women at risk of contracting the disease. The Hepatitis A vaccine is classified into two types. The first is the single-dose which an individual receives two shots six months apart. The second type is a combination vaccine that protects against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B diseases; people over eighteen years receive three shots over six months.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B is an infection that affects the liver and may result in long-lasting illness. Hepatitis B is contracted through the entry of infected body fluids such as blood into a body of an uninfected individual. Hepatitis B vaccine is administered three shots shortly after birth, between one to two months and six months for the infants. People above the age of twenty years may choose to receive the vaccination if they have not and are at risk of contracting the virus. Recombivax HB and Engerix B are the two types of Hepatitis B vaccines administered in infants in the US. However, the two vaccines are available in pediatric and adult formulations.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

It prevents the viral infection of the human papillomavirus. The human papillomavirus is administered at eleven and twelve years and for anyone not vaccinated up to twenty-six years. The vaccination against the human papillomavirus is not advocated for in adults above twenty-six years to forty-five years. In the US, Gardasil 9 is the only licensed Human Papillomavirus and is administered through a shot.

Rubella vaccine

Protects an individual from contracting the Rubella disease, characterized by a mild illness with sneezing and rushes. Rubella is a disease that can result in a pregnant woman suffering miscarriage or passing the disease to the unborn baby, leading to congenital disabilities. The Rubella vaccine is administered in infantry between twelve and fifteen months and the second dose between four to six years. Teenagers and adults can also receive the vaccine. The type of vaccine administered against Rubella is MMR, a combination vaccine that protects against measles and mumps.

Polio Vaccine

 This vaccine protects children from polio in four doses. In the US, children receive the inactivated polio vaccine. In addition, adults who have never received the polio vaccine can get the inactivated polio vaccine. The adults receive the first dose at any time. Then, they receive the second dose between one and two months later, and the final dosage is received between six and twelve months later. The inactivated polio vaccine is administered through a shot either in the leg or arm.

Influenza Vaccine

This vaccine triggers antibodies that provide protection from influenza, which is a virus that affects the respiratory tract. The CDC states that every individual above six months should be vaccinated every flu season, which is the end of October. There are several types of influenza vaccines. The flu vaccine and the quadrivalent flu vaccine are administered with a needle on the arm. In addition, the flu vaccine can be administered intranasally using the intranasal spray in specific populations.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

This is given to children to protect them from Streptococcus pneumonia spread through coughs and sneezing. The CDC recommends that all children below the age of two years should receive the vaccination. To prevent complications that may arise from the virus, such as meningitis and sepsis. The administration of the pneumococcal vaccine is in four doses in the infantry. People over the age of sixty-five years may receive the vaccine and only need a single dose. However, there exist two types of pneumococcal vaccine; the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine given to children below two years and the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine administered to people over sixty-five.

Haemophilus Influenza Type B Vaccine (HIB Vaccine)

It is administered to children below two years. Hib vaccine protects infants and children from Haemophilus influenza type B and is given in three or four doses. Infants receive the first dose at two months, four months, and between twelve and fifteen months. Children between one year and five years who have not received any vaccine dosage may receive one to two doses of the Hib vaccine. Children above five years and adults do not receive the Hib vaccine. In the US, Pentacel, a combination vaccine, is administered.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis  (DTaP) Vaccine

This vaccine is administered to children to protect them from three diseases. That is Tetanus, Diphtheria, and pertussis. The vaccine is administered in infantry and early childhood. In the US, there are seven types of Diphtheria, Tetanus, and pertussis vaccine issued. That is Pentacel, Vaxelis, Daptacel, Kinrix, Quadracel, Infanrix and Pediarix.

Diphtheria, pertussis, and Tetanus (Tdap) Vaccine

This is administered to children above eighteen months and adults. The vaccine is administered in children between eleven and twelve years. Pregnant women receive the vaccine between twenty-seven- and thirty-six weeks gestation to allow the passing of the protective antibodies to the unborn child. Two types of Tdap vaccines that are approved in the US are Adacel and Boostrix.

Meningococcal Vaccine

This vaccine is administered to protect against meningitis administered to children at eleven and sixteen years. Young adults may also receive the vaccine. In the US, there are two licensed meningococcal vaccines. First, is the meningococcal conjugate administered in two doses to preteens and teenagers. The second type is the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine administered to adolescents between the ages of sixteen and nineteen and young adults to the age of twenty-three years.

Shingles Vaccine

 Protects older adults from shingles which is a condition that involves the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. The shingles vaccine requires two doses. The second dose is given over two to six months after receiving the first. The herpes zoster vaccine is the accepted shingles vaccine in the US. Its administration is through intramuscular medication on the arm.

Rabies Vaccine

This is administered to people at risk of exposure to the rabies virus, such as veterinary or rabies laboratory workers. Rabies spreads via the saliva of an infected animal and is deadly. In the US, two types of rabies vaccine are accepted. First is the Imovax, and secondly is the RabAver. Both vaccines are administered between three to five doses. People of all ages receive the rabies vaccine. Three doses of the vaccine are administered to prevent infection, while five doses are administered after exposure to the disease.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Protects individuals from Coronavirus disease that affects the respiratory system. In the US, three types of COVID 19 vaccines are administered. First is the Pfizer/ BioNTech COVID-19, administered in two doses from twelve years and above. The second vaccine is the Moderna COVID-19, given in two doses from the ages of eighteen and above. The third vaccine is the Johnson & Johnson, administered in one dose from eighteen years and above. The three vaccines are administered via intramuscular medication.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

This is administered from the ages of nine months and above, and it is recommended while traveling to regions at risk of the yellow fever virus. The vaccine enhances immunity by exposing an individual to a small dose of the virus. A single dosage of yellow fever vaccine provides lifelong protection. The YF-Vax is a type of yellow vaccine administered in the US, and it is given ten days before traveling.

Typhoid Vaccine

It protects an individual from the salmonella Typhi infection. Typhoid is not common in the US, but it is administered if an individual is traveling to an area prevalent with typhoid. There are two types of typhoid vaccines administered in the US; the first is Typhim Vi, given a single dosage to younger children above two years and adults through intramuscular medication. The second vaccine is Vivotif, administered in four doses orally to children above six years and adults.

 Cholera Vaccine

 This vaccine protects an individual from gastrointestinal disease. Cholera infection transmission is via contaminated water. Cholera vaccine is administered to people traveling to tropical regions whereby the illness is prevalent. In the US, Vaxchora is the type of cholera vaccine administered. Vaccination is given as a single dose orally ten days before an individual travels to adults between eighteen and sixty-four years.

 Tuberculosis Vaccine

This vaccine is administered to infants in the United States to prevent tuberculosis disease. The type of vaccine administered is referred to as Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). BCG is given to children who test negative for tuberculosis disease and are exposed to the bacteria. Health care workers also receive the treatment if their settings continually expose them to the disease.

Japanese Encephalitis Virus Vaccine

This vaccine is administered to children two months and over and adults. The vaccine prevents the Japanese Encephalitis Virus when an individual travels to regions the disease is endemic, such as Asia. In the US, Ixiaro is the only type of vaccine licensed to be administered. Ixiaro is given in two doses through intramuscular medication seven days before traveling. Every individual has the public health responsibility of protecting themselves and others in the community through receiving vaccinations.

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