Africa Immunization Week – celebrated every year in the last week of April as part of World Immunization Week – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world's most successful health interventions. Yet, there are many adults who miss out on vital vaccines during adolescence, adulthood and into old age.
Using the theme 'Vaccines bring us closer', World Immunization Week 2021 will urge greater engagement around immunization globally to promote the importance of vaccination in bringing people together, and improving the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life.
Vaccines prevent diseases that can be very serious. On campuses, preventable diseases like influenza are known to spread quickly, through constant exposure in close quarters like residences, classrooms, shared restrooms, and through social activities like sporting events.
Vaccines offer safe and effective protection for the individual student, all students, academic professionals and the other professionals on campus you will interact with every day.
All adults need vaccines to help protect themselves and others. The vaccines recommended for adolescents and adults are based on age, health conditions, profession, lifestyle or travel habits.
Vaccines you may need based on your age:
All adults 65 years or older should get one dose of PPSV23 (polysaccharide vaccine). Adults 65 years or older who have never received a dose can discuss and decide, with their vaccine provider, to get one dose of PCV13 (conjugate vaccine).
|If someone wants both vaccines, get PCV13 first followed by PPSV23.|
Adults 50 and older, including adults who
have had shingles or got the previous shingles
|Two doses, 2 to 6 months apart|
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Recommended if you haven't received the full series
Females and males 26 or younger
|One time series of two or three doses|
Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
Recommended as a catch up if you didn't receive as a child
Depends on prior vaccination. If previous vaccination status is unknown, the vaccine should be given, as it is not a problem to give extra doses.
One time for most adults; however, certain people, such as university students, international travelers, or healthcare professionals, should get two doses
Recommended as a catch-up if you didn't receive as a child
Adults who have not received two doses of chickenpox vaccine or never had chickenpox
|One time series of two doses|
To avoid contracting meningitis.
Anyone who is going to live in a boarding school or university residence, or any other location where they'll be living in close proximity to lots of other people.
Vaccines recommended for everyone:
Influenza vaccine: every year, before the flu season starts, as soon as it becomes available. Recommended for pregnant women, irrespective of trimester.
Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis and Polio vaccine: one time, no matter when you got your last tetanus (Td) vaccine. Recommended for pregnant women, ideally between weeks 16 and 32
Immunization is one of the safest and most effective ways to protect your health. Vaccine
side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.
Severe side effects are very rare.
While the world focuses on critically important new vaccines to protect against COVID-19, there remains a need to ensure routine vaccinations are not missed. Many children have not been vaccinated during the global pandemic, leaving them at risk of serious diseases like measles and polio. Rapidly circulating misinformation around the topic of vaccination adds to this threat.
Vaccinations are considered to be the greatest achievement in medical science, but not following the schedule can compromise your immunity. Be sure that you are aware of your personal risk factors and the vaccinations you have had so that you can continue to receive full benefit from this life-saving medical intervention.
Talk to your healthcare professional about which vaccines are right for you!