March 24, 2021
One of our best defenses to infectious agents are vaccines. If we are able to come out with a vaccine & vaccinate sufficient individuals in a population & achieve herd immunity (sufficient numbers of people who are immune to a disease), an infectious agent is prevented from spreading effectively & thus controlled.
That is the reason why many countries around the world are rushing to vaccinate their population against Covid-19, in the hopes of preventing the spread of the virus in their population.
It has been stated that the main reason why our life expectancy has increased in the last hundred years is not just due to advances in medical science. The main reason is vaccines. They have successfully contained polio, smallpox and measles; diseases that we rarely hear of nowadays but were deadly diseases in the past.
Precautions to vaccination / conditions whereby you might not want to get vaccinated.
Vaccines we should consider getting.
All of us have received many vaccination jabs / injections during our childhood. Malaysia’s vaccination program is extensive & adequate. However, most of us are unaware that there are vaccines that we can get, which are optional and are not in the Malaysian vaccination schedule:
Hepatitis A vaccine
Unvaccinated children and adolescents aged 2–18 years, and international travelers.
Hepatitis B vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine is also recommended for adults living with diabetes and those at high risk for infection due to their jobs (exposure to blood – doctor / dentist / nurse / lab technician) , lifestyle, living situations (husband / wife / partner / family member living in the same house who is a hepatitis B carrier), or country of birth (countries with high number of Hepatitis B carriers).
All persons aged 6 months of age and older are recommended for annual vaccination with the flu vaccine. Especially recommended for people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women and children younger than 5 years, but especially those younger than 2 years old.
Discover more about Fluarix Tetra
Chickenpox (Varicella zoster) vaccine
People 13 years of age and older who have never had chickenpox or received chickenpox vaccine should get two doses, at least 28 days apart.
For adults 65 years or older, people with chronic diseases, smokers.
Learn more about Pneumovax 23.
Yellow fever vaccine
For individuals travelling to countries with yellow fever. Recommended for people who are 9 months old or older and who are traveling to or living in areas at risk for yellow fever virus in Africa and South America.
For most people, a single dose of yellow fever vaccine provides long-lasting protection and a booster dose of the vaccine is not needed. Most countries with yellow fever will require you to show proof of yellow fever vaccination within the last 10 years.
Against Salmonella typhi, bacteria infection leads to high fever, diarrhea and vomiting.
Recommended for people travelling to a rural location or places with inadequate sanitary facilities.
It is also compulsory for all Food and Beverages (F&B) handlers to get vaccinated.
All 11 to 12 years old should get a meningococcal conjugate vaccine, with a booster dose at 16 years old to prevent infection by Neisseria Meningitidis. Also for individuals travelling to Africa/Saudi Arabia.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
Targets the HPV types that most commonly cause cervical cancer and cause some cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus and oropharynx. Recommended for females between age 9 and 45 & males between age of 9 and 26 with or without history of genital warts or HPV infection.