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Take A Good Shot... Or Two (Part 3) - Pneumococcal Infection

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Pneumococcal Infection (Pneumonia)

You need the vaccine if you have chronic heart and lung disease, do not have a functioning spleen, have cancer of the blood cells, have a spinal fluid leakage, and drink not wisely but too well. 

The adult vaccine is effective in about two of three adults, although it is less effective in debilitated seniors. It is better in preventing some of the serious complications of pneumococcal pneumonia (e.g. chest pain, cough, fever) than in preventing the pneumonia itself. One injection may provide lifetime protection.

Description: One injection may provide lifetime protection.

One injection may provide lifetime protection.

Rabies is transmitted to humans by the bite of a mad animal, usually a dog, cat, bat or monkey, and can be fatal. If you are suspicious about the animal, you need to take injections of rabies immunoglobulin on the first day, followed by shots on days 3, 7, 14, 28 — not on the stomach as in days of yore, but in the arm. 

You are at high risk if you are a vet, work with animals, explore bat caves and so need a vaccination which offers lifetime protection.

Tetanus is a creeping paralysis caused by a bacterium which lives in soil, steel, aluminium, rusting objects. Because it is often fatal vaccination is particularly important. A primary series of 3 injections should be administered to you if you were not vaccinated in childhood. You will need a booster dose every 10 years. You can receive the vaccine alone or combined with the diptheria vaccine. 

Description: Because it is often fatal vaccination is particularly important.

Because it is often fatal vaccination is particularly important.

During pregnancy, if you were immunised previously, you need a booster dose of tetanus toxoid four weeks before your due date. If you were not immunised you need two doses- the first between 16 and 24 weeks and the second between 24 and 32 weeks. Typhoid is spread from person to person by the fecal-oral route and by eating contaminated food and water and can be serious. It can be prevented by injectable vaccine typhonex, the effect of which last for three years. 

Side effects

Most reactions to vaccinations are minor and temporary - a low-grade fever, redness and swelling at the injection site and a sore arm for a couple of days. A yellow fever vaccine, for example, can cause those symptoms for up to a week. 

Consult your doctor if there are more severe reactions such as high fever, rash, vomiting, convulsions.

Most vaccines are not for pregnant women and to those who have an acute illness.

Also remember that if you have an allergy to eggs, chicken protein, or gelatin, you may be advised not to get certain vaccines.

Description: Most vaccines are not for pregnant women and to those who have an acute illness.

Most vaccines are not for pregnant women and to those who have an acute illness.

If you’re travelling it’s always best to get your vaccinations well in advance of your departure date, both to allow for adverse reactions and because some vaccinations need to be given over a period of weeks. You may also need to space out the vaccinations so you’re not getting all of them at once. 

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