The end of this pandemic seems closer than ever before. Reason? The vaccination! The process of vaccinating the population in phases, against Covid-19, has begun. While there’s no doubt that when it is time for your eligibility group you should definitely take the vaccine, there are a few vaccines you should have already taken. Confused? Well, I’m not talking about the CoVid vaccine, I am talking about some vaccines every woman must take in her life in order to lead a healthy life.
Vaccines for every woman:
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: Although this vaccine can be taken by boys too, it is recommended that women between the ages 11-26 definitely take this vaccine. This vaccine protects from genital related cancers like cervical. The virus is a sexually transmitted one and hence it is advised that one gets this before they are sexually active. The vaccine is a course of one series of three doses. Women between 27-45 can also benefit from this but in that case, consult your gynecologist.
- Tdap vaccine: Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis. Anyone older than 6 months can get this vaccine. For normal adults it is recommended that you get a booster every 10 years, or at the earliest incase of a wound from foreign object. The importance of this vaccine for women comes when she is pregnant. A pregnant woman has to take this vaccine in her third trimester, in order to protect herself and the baby from the diseases. There’s no minimum time limit between one does and another so even if the mother got vaccinated right before pregnancy, she should get it again in the 3rd trimester in order maximize the efficacy. If grandparents are going to come in contact with the baby before it is 6 months old then it is recommended that they get the vaccination done too.
- Varicella vaccine: What is popularly known as chickenpox vaccine, is a common one. Most people get it right after they are born or get the infection and are now immune it. However, if neither has happened for you and you are at a reproductive age then this vaccine is a must. If you are planning a pregnancy then consult your doctor about your immunization to this vaccine as, if pregnant women get chicken pox it can be quite deadly and lead to neo natal varicella pneumonia. Remember you cannot get this vaccine while pregnant, it has to be done at least 4-8 weeks prior to conception.
- Influenza: It is the most common flu shot for everyone older than 6 months. You need get one every year. If you are around a 6 month or lesser old baby then do get this vaccine. Preferably get it done in get it done in autumn or early winter i.e., right before the flu season.
- MMR vaccine: MMR stands for measles, mumps and rubella. Women who have no history of previous immunization or lack laboratory evidence of rubella immunity should receive at least one dose of MMR vaccine. In addition to protecting individual women, MMR vaccine helps to prevent the occurrence of congenital rubella syndrome in newborns. As it is a live virus vaccine, women should be counseled to avoid pregnancy for four weeks after receiving the MMR vaccine.
That covers all the important vaccines every woman must take in her life time. Additionally, consider getting hepatitis A & B vaccine as well, just for rounding off your wellbeing. Please don’t believe people who have “doubts” regarding any vaccine, these go through trials and tribulations before they reach you and hence are completely safe.
All vaccines have small side effects like fever and fatigue for a day or two but that’s not a thing to worry about, as that is just your body preparing to fight the disease. Get the vaccine from you licensed practitioner because better safe than sorry.