Dr. Sunil Havannavar

Senior Consultant - Internal Medicine

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Dr. Sunil Havannavar

Senior Consultant - Internal Medicine

Manipal Hospitals, Sarjapur Road

Adult Immunisation: Understanding Its Importance

Posted On: Mar 22, 2024

blogs read 4 Min Read

Adult Immunisation - Myths and Facts about Vaccines

What do you think has increased the average human lifespan? It is primarily because of the medical advancement that is keeping individuals healthy and active. The world has a population of over 1 billion who are above 60 years old.

Now, you may think that medical innovation can do it all for you. Vaccination is not that important! Well, you are in for a misconception there. Adults do need immunisation through proper vaccination. It depends on a person’s age, lifestyle, health, and prior vaccination history.

Keep reading this article to learn more about adult immunisation.



What Is Adult Vaccination?

Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective strategies in healthcare. As a child, you have been given several shots to develop your immunity against diseases. However, as you age, their effects usually wear off. This is where adult vaccination comes into play to keep your immune system updated.

Immunisation using vaccines protects the individual from developing a potentially serious disease. If you look at it from a broader perspective, it also protects the community by reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

The immunisation programmes expand beyond infancy to accommodate newer vaccines for adolescents and adults. Face the reality! Your age will definitely weaken your immune system. This is just the opposite of your infant days when you were developing your immunity. These are the two most vulnerable phases of your life. It is when the population is at more risk of developing infections and diseases.

Vaccines help strengthen your immune response, no matter what age you are at. It can even protect you from potentially life-threatening illnesses.

You can consult a senior doctor to learn more about adult immunisation.

Why Is Vaccination Important in Adults?

Simply speaking, vaccination is your most budget-friendly medical option to prevent potential diseases. This section will elaborate on how. 

  • Strengthens Immunity: Vaccines introduce antigens (an inactive disease-causing agent) to our body. This foreign body triggers our immune response. Now, our body will produce antibodies to fight the antigens and remember the element. Now, when we are diagnosed with the actual disease, our body will know which antibody to produce to neutralise the bacteria or virus. This is how vaccines help train and strengthen our immune system. 

  • Prevention of Infectious Diseases: Vaccination reduces the risk of contracting serious illnesses by strengthening your immune power. These diseases include influenza, pneumonia, shingles, hepatitis, tetanus, and more.

  • Improves Herd Immunity and Protects the Community: Vaccinated adults not only protect themselves but also contribute to herd immunity. This means you reduce the risk of spreading infections. As a result, you can protect the vulnerable population who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons or weakened immune systems. This populace is usually made up of infants, pregnant women, and individuals undergoing cancer treatment.

There is one hidden benefit to immunisation. It reduces the burden on healthcare resources. More vaccination means fewer diseases. This decreases hospitalisations and outpatient visits related to vaccine-preventable diseases.

Adult Vaccination: How Safe Are They?

Talk to a medical specialist or your primary care physician. They can guide you regarding vaccines based on your age, health conditions, occupation, lifestyle choices, travel plans, and, of course, previous vaccination history.

Some commonly recommended adult vaccines include influenza, pneumococcal, shingles, hepatitis b, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (TDAP), and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.

Here is a brief overview of the most common vaccinations. 








Hepatitis B


0, 1, and 6 months

When anti-HB titres are < 10 mlU/ml

Chronic liver disease

HIV infection

Sexual exposure

Injection drug abuse

Close contacts of HBsAg-positive patient


Hepatitis A


0 and 6 months


Chronic liver disease

HIV infection

Men who have sex with men

Drug abuse

Travel to endemic places




One dose annually


Respiratory conditions


Cystic fibrosis

People with cochlear implants

Healthcare professionals




0 and 2 months



HIV patients with < 200 CD4 count

Severe immunocompromised condition

Human Papilloma Virus


0, 2, and 6 months


Multiple sexual partners

Immunocompromised condition

HIV patients

Men who have sex with men




For ages 50 and older in 0 to 6 months gap


Severe immune-compromised conditions

HIV patients


Mumps, Measles, Rubella

Single dose for the regular population without prior immunisation. 

Two doses for high-risk groups.

0 and 3 months


Healthcare personnel

Immunocompromised patients

International travellers

Students in college setting, living in close quarters

HIV patients with < 200 CD4 count for 6 months

Pregnant women

Severe immuno-compromised patients

HIV patients with < 200 CD4 count



Suitable for ages 65 or older. 1 PCV 13 dose. After a year, 1 PPSV 23 dose. 

PPSV 23 after 5 years

Chronic medical conditions

Immuno-compromised conditions

CSF leak cochlear implants



2 - recommended only for high-risk groups

0 and 2 months

Every 5 years

Anatomical or functional asplenia


Persistent complement deficiencies

Complement inhibitors use

Travel to endemic areas

Healthcare workers


Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis

1 does of TDAP

After 11 years of age

Every 10 years


Wound management




0 and 2 weeks, orally


People living in places with unsafe drinking water, inadequate hygiene, and poor sanitation





Every 2 years

Travel to endemic area

Bad food hygiene

Poor sanitation


Rabies (pre-exposure)


0, 7, 21, or 28 days


Veterinary doctors

Travel to endemic areas

Cave explorers

Bat researchers

Laboratory workers

Wildlife wardens


Rabies (post-exposure)


0, 3, 7, 14, and 28 days


Yellow Fever


Given at least 10 days before travelling to South America and Africa

Travellers visiting areas with ongoing outbreaks for the last 10 years or more


Allergy to vaccine

Organ transplantations

HIV patients with < 200 CD4 count

Immunocompromised conditions

Japanese Encephalitis


0 and 28 days. Take it at least 7 days before your travel.

If you have received 2 doses of primary vaccination and it has passed 1 year or more. Or if there is a potential for continued infection or re-exposure. 


Serious allergic reaction


It is important to consult an internal medicine specialist and discuss your entire medical history with them for safe immunisation. This safety is ensured as the vaccination is recommended and administered after thorough research. They are all tested, as well. Most importantly, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks associated with potential side effects.

Understanding the Myths and Facts about Vaccines

Now, it is time to address bust the most common myths surrounding vaccinations.

Myth: Vaccines don’t work

Fact: Vaccines prevent many diseases that can make people seriously sick. Now that you are being vaccinated for those diseases, they’re not common anymore. One example is smallpox. It used to be an illness that affected children. But once the vaccine was developed and people were immunised, it was almost eliminated.

Myth: Vaccines aren’t safe

Fact:  Vaccines go through many testing phases before they’re administered. This includes testing on thousands of volunteers and careful analysis of the test data by scientists.

Myth: Natural immunity is better than a vaccination

Fact: Many preventable diseases are dangerous and can cause lasting side effects. It’s much safer and easier to get vaccines instead. Plus, being vaccinated helps prevent you from spreading the disease to unvaccinated people around you.

Myth: Vaccines include a live version of the virus

Fact: Not all vaccines have a live virus. However, in vaccines that contain live viruses, their infections are weakened during the vaccine creation process. This ensures that you can’t fall sick with the disease. But your body gets ready to fight the infection, memorising it as a strong version of the infection. This creates immunity.

For appropriate guidance on adult immunisation, visit Manipal Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bangalore. The top internal medicine expert will discuss every important aspect with you.


As you age, your body becomes more vulnerable to several diseases. Adult immunisation implies that you will be vaccinated for potential illnesses. It will strengthen your immunity and help you fight infections.

The number and types of vaccinations completely depend on your health condition, age, lifestyle factors, and previous vaccination history. So, it is best recommended by the medical professional.

Yes, for routine vaccination, you must follow the booster dose guidelines. This ensures that your immune system is updated and can fight with the virus’s mutation and new variants.

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