Vaccinations For Women
Recommended Vaccines By Age Group

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Vaccinations For Women

Contents

What Is A Vaccination?
Recommended Vaccines: 19 to 26 years
Recommended Vaccines: 27 to 60 years
Recommended Vaccines: Over 60
About The Diseases


Related Articles:

Common Tests:
Medical Tests

Recommended Checkups:
Screenings For Women

What Is A Vaccination?

A vaccination or vaccine is a substance a patient is given to reduce their risk of catching or developing a disease. Typically the vaccine contains a little bit of the disease in question. This stimulates the body's immune system to identify it and destroy it. The body will remember its reaction, so if infected at a later stage with the disease it recognizes the organism more quickly and destroys it faster. Many vaccines are given in childhood but some are needed throughout adulthood. A vaccine can wear off or you may be exposed to new risks and different diseases.

Recommended Vaccines: 19 to 26 Years Old

Tdap Vaccine
Protects against: Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
Frequency: All adults should receive a single dose of Tdap if they not receive it in childhood. A booster Td shot (just tetanus and diphtheria) should be taken every 10 years by all adults thereafter. Pregnant women should receive a dose of Tdap in every pregnancy, regardless of when they last had a Tdap or Td shot, preferably between weeks 27 and 36.

Flu Shot
Protects against: Flu (influenza) virus.
Frequency: Once a year for all adults.
The flu shot is given by injection into the arm. An intradermal shot is approved for people 18 to 65 years of age. That is, where the vaccine is injected into the skin rather than deep into the muscle. The benefit? It means a smaller needle can be used.

HPV Vaccine
Protects against: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) a common sexually transmitted disease that can cause genital warts, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer and vulva cancer.
Frequency: It is given in 2 or 3 doses, usually before the age of 18 but the final dose can be given up to the age of 26.

Important: Other vaccinations may be required if you have a chronic disease (such as diabetes, HIV infection, kidney disease, weakened immune system or heart problems). Your doctor will be able to advise you according to your specific requirements.

Recommended Vaccines: 27 to 60 Years Old

Tdap Vaccine
Protects against: Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
Frequency: All adults should receive a single dose of Tdap if did they not receive it in childhood. A booster Td shot (just tetanus and diphtheria) should be taken every 10 years by all adults thereafter. Pregnant women should receive a dose of Tdap in every pregnancy, regardless of when they last had a Tdap or Td shot, preferably between weeks 27 and 36.

Flu Shot
Protects against: Flu (influenza) virus.
Frequency: Once a year for all adults.
The flu shot is given by injection into the arm. An intradermal shot is approved for people 18 to 65 years of age.

Important: As always, vaccinations may be required if you have a chronic disease (such as diabetes, HIV infection, kidney disease, weakened immune system or heart problems).

Recommended Vaccines: Over 60 Years

Tdap Vaccine
Protects against: Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
Frequency: All adults should receive a single dose of Tdap if they did not receive it in childhood. A booster Td shot (just tetanus and diphtheria) should be taken every 10 years thereafter.

Flu Shot
Protects against: Flu virus.
Frequency: Once a year for all adults.
A high dose flu shot is recommended for women over the age of 65. The vaccine contains 4 times the amount of antigens (the ingredient that prompts the body to make antibodies) than a regular flu shot.

Pneumococcal Vaccination
Protects against: Pneumonia, meningitis and middle ear infections in older adults.
Frequency: Once
All adults 65 and older should receive the PPSV23 (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine) vaccine.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccination
Protects against: Painful skin rash called shingles which is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
Frequency: Once after the age of 60.
Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because the virus remains in their body and can reappear at a later time. Shingles more commonly occurs in women after the age of 50 and those who have immune system problems. It is administered as an injection in the upper arm. It is still recommended if you never had chickenpox.

Important: As always, other vaccinations may be required if you have a chronic disease (such as diabetes, HIV infection, kidney disease, weakened immune system or heart problems).

About The Diseases

Diphtheria (Tdap and Td Vaccine)
This is a contagious bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system. It can be passed from person to person through sneezing and coughing. When caught it causes sore throat, swollen glands, weakness and low grade fever. The diphtheria bacteria produces a toxin which can attack the heart muscle and in severe cases lead to paralysis and even death.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough, Tdap Vaccine)
Whooping cough is caused by a bacteria which spreads by coughing and sneezing. In the beginning symptoms are similar to a cold, such as sneezing, coughing and a runny nose. After a week or two, violent spells of coughing or choking develop making it hard to breathe, eat or drink. It can last for weeks. Whooping cough is more serious in babies who can become brain damaged and die. Adults who spend time with children should make sure they have received the Tdap vaccine once.

Tetanus (Tdap and Td Vaccine)
Also called lockjaw, tetanus is a potentially deadly infection of the nervous system. It is caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani (C. tetani). Spores of this bacteria are found in soil and can enter the body through a wound or injury. Once in the body it makes a poison that blocks nervous signals to the muscles, causing severe muscle spasms (the jaw becomes locked for example). The spasms can be so strong they could even cause the spine to break. The time from infection to symptoms appearing typically takes one to 3 weeks. A Tdap or Td vaccine gives immunity for 10 years. A Td booster is needed every 10 years thereafter.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV Vaccine)
HPV is a virus most commonly found in men and women in their teens and early 20s. It is the major cause of cervical cancer, as well as genital warts, vaginal cancer and vulva cancer. HPV is passed through sexual contact.

Influenza (Flu Vaccine)
Influenza or the flu, is a contagious viral infection. It spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Typical symptoms include headaches, sudden fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and joint pain. Flu tends to be more dangerous for the young, pregnant women and the elderly. Swine flu is a strain of flu virus that can cause miscarriage in pregnant women. When it is in circulation the flu vaccine will include substances to protect against it.
Related: Flu in pregnancy.

Pneumococcal Disease (Pneumococcal Vaccine)
Pneumococcal disease is an infection that attacks the lungs and causes pneumonia. It is caused by the bacteria pneumococcus which passes from person to person by sneezing and coughing. It can also lead to other infections such as meningitis (infection of the spinal cord and brain) and blood infections (sepsis). Less severe, but more commonly it can cause sinus infections and middle ear infections. Many people are carriers - they have the bacteria in their nose without being ill.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster Vaccination)
Shingles is a condition caused by infection from the varicella zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you ever had chickenpox, the virus remains in your body and lies dormant. For reasons, not yet fully understood, this virus can become active again years later resulting in shingles. About 1 in 3 Americans will develop shingles (techie name herpes zoster, it is not related to the STD genital herpes). 50 percent of these are in women over the age of 60. It is rare to have more than one episode of shingles. Symptoms include small sores and blisters which form on the skin, usually around the spine, belly or chest. It also causes headaches, joint pain, chills and tummy pain.

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