Vaccines offered to Adults

While the NHS implements a nationwide childhood vaccination service that protects people against a wealth of diseases for life, there are some conditions for which vaccinations are provided to adults. These vaccines are largely to do with certain factors which make them necessary, for example, professions where you are likely to be exposed to a particular virulent disease. In this article a list of the vaccines offered to adults of different ages is provided.

What vaccines are offered to adults?

The flu vaccine (which also offers protection against swine flu) is offered to adults over the age of 65 who are particularly vulnerable to infections because of a gradual weakening of the immune system. It is also provided to adults suffering from a chronic health condition that would be exacerbated by the flu, or makes them more susceptible to the flu. Healthcare workers who regularly come into contact with people carrying all manner of infections are also supplied with the flu vaccine. Pregnant women are offered the flu jab as well to protect them during what is always a sensitive period. The flu jab for adults is given every year at around October or November, the beginning of the flu season.

The PPV (pneumococcal vaccine) protects against a class of bacteria that cause pneumococcal infections. People over the age of 65 are entitled to a job that usually protects them without the need for a booster, while people suffering from a chronic health condition can also receive PPV if necessary.

Chickenpox is a condition which most children suffer from at some point or the other, but fortunately exposure to the disease is harmless for children and results in lifelong immunity from the disease. Adults who have not caught chickenpox as children are not immune however, and an adult case of chickenpox can be more serious than a childhood case. As such the vaccine against chickenpox (also known as varicella) is offered to adults from a number of different ages and backgrounds, including those who aren’t immune to the disease (particularly healthcare workers and laboratory workers who might be exposed to chickenpox) and non-immune people coming into contact with patients with weakened immune systems. The chickenpox vaccine is delivered as 2 injections anywhere between 4-8 weeks apart).

The hepatitis B vaccine is offered to a number of different adults with lifestyles that expose them to hep B:

  • Adults engaging in regular intercourse with a range of different people (both hetero- and homosexuals).
  • Family members of a patient suffering from chronic hep B.
  • Prison staff and inmates.
  • Adults who are exposed to the infection through their occupation like healthcare workers, residential staff of care facilities, emergency personnel, and laboratory workers.
  • Anyone suffering from chronic kidney or liver failures.
  • Patients receiving regular blood transfusions and their carers.

Finally the tuberculosis vaccine (called the BCG vaccine) is offered to people who are exposed to the infection through their occupation. Again healthcare workers, prison staff, laboratory workers, care home workers, and people working with animals vulnerable to TB infections.

If you feel you fall into one of these categories you should consult your GP about receiving an adult vaccination. The protective treatment is always worth pursuing as it can’t do any harm if you are immune and at risk.

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