Experts emphasise improving awareness on vaccinating elderly

While children getting vaccinated is a common topic of discussion, adult immunisation is also the need of the hour, say experts.
Experts emphasise improving awareness on vaccinating elderly
PTI

Chennai: Even as the State Health Department initiated the pneumococcal vaccination for adults across the State, not many are aware of the same.

While children getting vaccinated is a common topic of discussion, adult immunisation is also the need of the hour, say experts.

Doctors say that getting the medical community actively involved in vaccinating the elderly and those with co-morbidities is the need of the hour. Senior citizens and people with lung diseases, diabetes, hypertension, kidney diseases, etc, are more vulnerable to infections.

Vaccines can not only keep these infections at bay but can also prevent the underlying diseases from getting worse, which can directly lead to fewer hospitalisations.

Dr Subramanian Swaminathan, infectious disease specialist, Global Hospitals, said that vaccinations are extremely important in improving quality of life. “Post COVID-19, the success rate of vaccines has been established. But people should remember that that with age, immunity reduces,” he explained. “Those suffering from severe diseases would need the most protection. Pneumonia and Influenza vaccines have the highest benefit when taken at the right time. Sensitisation in the medical community and spreading the right information to the public is crucial.”

The pandemic has increased the faith in vaccines, but substantial improvements and increments in adult vaccination are essential to protect the vulnerable age group.

Dr S Balasubramanian, senior paediatrician, stated, “Without vaccination, so many lives couldn’t have been saved or changed. Eradicating diseases like Polio, Smallpox and negligible cases of tetanus wouldn’t have been possible. An infant taking the flu shot and the pneumococcal vaccines is of utmost importance, as it helps the child in building stronger immunity and improving the quality of their childhood.”

He also added that though awareness about vaccinations has increased, there’s still a considerable gap to cover. “Rigorous vaccination drives against multiple diseases like polio and smallpox have proven success rate. That’s shows the efficacy of a vaccine,” he pointed out.

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