Vaccines without any doubt have become the best disease prevention strategy in modern times. The current coronavirus outbreak just shows us how much of a benefit, vaccines are to the health of the people and the nation. Today, economies and activities all over the world are grounded, and we are all waiting for the successful production of a coronavirus vaccine so that we can continue with our lives and regular activities.
While we all wait for that, it is important to remember, there are vaccines currently available for a number of conditions, and some of these vaccines are meant to have been taken at a particular time in our life.
I would be putting down a list of these vaccines. If you missed or can’t remember if you got your shots, this is a gentle reminder. Go and get yourself and your family fully immunized and protected!
Vaccines Needed From Birth to Adult
According to the National Programme for Immunization, NPI schedule in Nigeria Here’s the list;
AT 2 MONTHS
-Meningoccocal group B
AT 3 MONTHS
-All the vaccines you took at 2 months, except the Meningococcal vaccine
AT 4 MONTHS
-All the shots you took at 2 months, except Rotavirus
AT 1 YEAR
AT 3 YEARS
AT 12 – 13 YEARS
-Human papillomavirus or HPV (types 16 & 18 cause cervical cancer while 6 &11 cause genital warts)
AT 14 YEARS
AT 65 YEARS
AT 70 YEARS
How do I Know If I Received my Vaccinations as a Child?
Well, there is no exact way to be sure if you received your shots as a child, but there are a few suggestions that could guide you.
In Nigeria, the Hepatitis vaccination was introduced in the year 1995, so individuals born before this year obviously did not get this vaccination and should go and get it.
For Vaccinations like BCG and other vaccinations taken in the first year of life, you might notice a scar (immunization scar) on the upper side of your arm (left or right). Some may notice a scar on their thighs. It is where the shots were given. However, if you do not notice this, it does not exclusively mean that you did not take your shots.
It is always safe to ask if your mother is still alive.
Don’t forget: Before you become sexually active, you are supposed to have taken your HPV vaccine to protect you from the virus that causes cervical cancer & genital warts (the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This should be taken between 12 & 13 yrs of life. If you haven’t you can still take it now.
It is taken in 3 different shots at 3 different times.
Girls & boys should take the HPV vaccine when they turn 11 or 12! Then, get 2 more doses, 6 to 12 months apart. This is scarcely the case for many people.
Meanwhile, cervical cancer cases are rising. A friend told me of a 32yr old lady who died of cancer in her hospital 2 wks ago. These incidents are very common and are a very very terrible way to die. You can click here to learn more about cervical cancer.
For those who missed their Shots:
If you didn’t take your first HPV shot at 11 or 12 but you’re still in your teens, you should take 3 catch-up doses before you turn 20.
These shots should also be about 6 to 12 months apart. You will still get adequate HPV protection.
Anyone from 9 to 26 years who has any condition that weakens their immune system should receive 3 doses of HPV. Adults 27yrs & above require 3 shots spaced over several months (for example 9 to 12 months!)
This is a major societal problem. Go & get your shots of the HPV vaccine now if you haven’t.
A stitch in time saves nine!
Even adults take vaccines. Immunization is not only for children. If you want the safest way to protect yourself from vaccine-preventable diseases & deaths, go & get yourself immunized.
See a list of diseases that can be prevented by vaccines here.