Statistics show higher morbidity and mortality in adults from vaccine-preventable diseases as compared to children
This World Immunisation Week’s (April 24-30) theme is ‘Closing the immunisation gap: Immunisation all throughout life’. It stresses on the need for immunisation in adolescents and adults, an overlooked but critical health issue. Very alarming is the fact that adults suffer from higher morbidity and mortality from some serious vaccine-preventable diseases when compared to children. For eg., vaccine preventable influenza and pneumococcal disease kill far more adults than children each year. Most countries including India have public health policies which strongly focus on childhood vaccination. There is a need to push for adult vaccination to bring down adult deaths from preventable illnesses.
Recognising the importance of adult vaccination, Global Hospital has started an adult vaccination clinic to make available adult vaccines for serious diseases such as influenza, hepatitis A, B, chicken pox and rubella. Diseases such as influenza, pneumococcal, hepatitis A and chicken pox are more aggressive when acquired in adulthood. Certain vaccine preventable diseases like pertussis, influenza and chickenpox not only affect the infected individual but pose a heightened risk of infecting children and older adults in the family, both vulnerable groups of society. Such vaccine-preventable diseases put an increased economic burden on the country.
Speaking on the occasion of World Immunisation Week, Dr. Vasant Nagvekar, Infectious Diseases Consultant, Global Hospital Mumbai said, “The high rates of morbidity and mortality in adults from vaccine-preventable diseases is a grave concern as they exceed those seen in children. Just the yearly influenza vaccine, especially when taken by the elderly and those having co-morbid conditions, reduces hospitalisation risks by 40 per cent. There has been a reduction of 25 per cent adult deaths through the use of the pneumococcal vaccine and a 50 per cent reduction from the use of the influenza vaccine.”