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Adult immunisation

Adult Immunisation

Preventable diseases kill thousands of adults each year, immunisations (vaccines) protect both adults and children from these life threatening illnesses.  To be fully protected from infectious diseases, visit Zuzimpilo Clinic to get more information on vaccines that could help save your life.

What is immunisation?

Immunisation is a method of artificially stimulating the immune system to provide protection against specific serious infections. This is done by giving a vaccine.

Vaccines “teach” the immune system how to recognize and fight certain germs, bacteria and viruses before a particular disease can gain a foothold. By giving the body a small “sample” of the germ, it can develop resistance, without actually contracting the disease.

Importance of Adult immunisation

Immunisation is not only important for children, but adults too. Even though adults may have been vaccinated as children, injections may be required to maintain immunity from certain diseases and new vaccines have been developed that were not previously available.

Adult recommended vaccines

Immunisations recommended for adults may relate to your age, if you have had injury or illness, your vaccination history, plans to travel, if you are planning to start a family or just part of staying healthy.

Some people have special vaccination requirements. If you identify with any of the following, you should talk to your doctor before being vaccinated:

  • Pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy
  • Have previously had a serious adverse event following immunisation
  • Impaired immunity due to disease or treatment.

Immunisation schedule for adults

For adults there are several vaccines that are recommended for certain risk groups:

  • Pneumococcal vaccine is routinely recommended for all adults over 65 years or for those persons  who have chronic chest problems or are immune compromised.
  • Flu vaccine is recommended annually for everyone, particular those over age of 65 years and that have serious health problems.
  • Tetanus is completely preventable by active tetanus immunisation. Immunisation is thought to provide protection for 10 years. Immunisation of tetanus begins in infancy but it is important to remember to keep up tetanus boosters to maintain immunity in ages 11 to 65, especially those persons at risk i.e. farmers etc.

Travel Vaccines - Adults also need to take responsibility for getting the required vaccinations when travelling to certain areas where they may be exposed to serious disease such as cholera, typhoid, yellow fever or others.

A number of these vaccinations need to be taken several weeks before travelling, so it is imperative that the vaccination schedule is planned well in advance.

Commonly recommended Immunisations for travellers are:

  • Yellow fever (for travel further into Africa)
  • Hepatitis A (immunoglobulin)
  • Cholera
  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid

Adult Immunisation Record

It’s advised that you always keep a record of your immunisations, that way if you have missed any, you can start making plans to catch up.

If you are not sure whether you are up to date on immunisations, call Zuzimpilo Clinic and make an appointment.

Sources: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Society South Africa, Health-24, Department of Health.

Annual Health Checks | High Blood Pressure Management | Diabetes Management | Cholesterol Screening | Child Vaccine Programme | Family Planning | Pap SmearsVoluntary HIV Testing | CD4 TestingWellness ProgrammeARV ProgrammePrevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission | Post-exposure Prophylaxis | TB Screening | Pharmacy


One man’s reaction to his diagnosis.


How this lady’s life has improved

10 ways to be successful on ARVs

Download this article here

Antiretroviral therapy typically combines three or more antiretroviral drugs that work together to keep the HI Virus from multiplying. Although antiretroviral drugs improve health and delay death, they do not cure HIV/AIDS.


  1. Commit to drug taking: ART is lifelong treatment which needs to be taken correctly for it to be effective.
  2. Get to know your treatment: Ensure that you know and understand what medication you are on and how to take it.
  3. Choose a pill time: Get help from your healthcare provider to work out a medication schedule that will fit into your daily activities.
  4. Remember your medication: Make use of an alarm clock or cellphone to remind you when to take your medication.
  5. Get a pillbox: Keep a supply of your drugs with you wherever you go, so that you do not miss your pill time (it also helps to have a bottle of water with you).
  6. Get a treatment buddy: It helps to disclose to someone close to you, preferably someone who lives with you, who will be able to offer you support and to remind you to take your treatment.
  7. Missed doses: If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose then you should wait and take the next dose. Do not take double doses.
  8. Stopping treatment: Do not stop treatment on your own, unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
  9. Be aware of side effects: Ensure that your health care provider has explained to you any possible side effects that you may experience. If you do experience any report them to your Health care provider as soon as possible.
  10. Monitoring and evaluation: Be sure to keep all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider, especially in the first few months of taking treatment, so that the effect of the treatment can be monitored.



Name: Sarah
Age: 34 years

This patient found out that she was HIV positive when she was 4 months pregnant. She struggled to tell her mom and her partner who also found out he was HIV positive. She gave birth to an HIV negative son. Her family supports her to take her ARVS every evening when Generations begin and she hasn’t looked back. In fact she often forgets she is HIV positive!

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Name: Disebo

Age: 39 years

This ZuziMpilo Medical Centre patient thought she would die within three days of her AIDS diagnosis which she discovered after the birth of her son. Rather than tell her family the truth, she told her mom she had Cancer, but when she finally admitted to having AIDS, she was almost forced to leave home. Thankfully she began on ARVs. She says: “Seven year later I am still doing well on treatment and living a healthy life thanks to the drugs. Antiretroviral medication really works!”

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