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Respiratory Infections and Adult Vaccination in India

Respiratory Infections and Adult Vaccination in India

The state of Tamil Nadu, grapples with a substantial burden of Respiratory infections. Influenced by a convergence of factors including an aging population, deteriorating air quality, and an increased susceptibility to Invasive Pneumococcal Disease, this complex interplay contributes to an elevated prevalence of COPD, echoing a broader trend witnessed across India. With the nation shouldering a significant 32% of the global respiratory disease burden, where COPD stands as the second leading cause. These challenges resonate with a larger panorama of respiratory health issues in India, emphasizing the imperative for comprehensive preventive measures and tailored strategies to address the multifaceted dimensions of this public health concern.

Along with Consultant Interventional Pulmonologist Dr.Arjun Srinivasan from Royal Care Hospital, Coimbatore, Dr.Jayamohan shared that the burden of respiratory diseases is becoming more in India.

Prevalence of Lung Infection in Tamil Nadu:  

In 2016, Tamil Nadu had 3,206 and 2,004 prevalent cases (in thousands) of COPD and asthma respectively.

Ambient particulate matter pollution (23.4%) contributes majorly to COPD DALYs in Tamil Nadu followed by Smoking (14.8%)

A study in Tamil Nadu with 108 patients with Community acquired lung infection aged 60 years2 and older showed,

Community acquired lung infection-related mortality in 38% of patients.

Prolonged longer hospital stays in 68% of CAP patients.

Increased need for mechanical ventilation (P ≤ 0.0001)

2.       Aging Population in Tamil Nadu: Adult Vaccination like Pneumococcal vaccination is important in state such as Tamil Nadu, whose population of senior citizens is expected to surge in another decade. In 2021, senior citizens constituted 13.6% of the State’s population and has the Second highest proportion of senior citizens after Kerala.

3. Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in India:

Escalating burden: Vaccine-preventable diseases in Indian adults correlate with significant morbidity and disability.

Adult deaths: More than 95% of deaths associated with vaccine-preventable diseases occur in adults in India, surpassing deaths due to infectious diseases compared to noncommunicable diseases.

Landscape of respiratory infections

Understanding the landscape of respiratory infections and pneumococcal disease in India is crucial for addressing significant health challenges. Examining the numbers sheds light on the widespread occurrence and severity of these conditions, emphasizing the urgent need for effective strategies. In this context, adult vaccination emerges as a key preventive measure. Let's explore the key insights:

Why is Vaccination Crucial for Safeguarding the Elderly?

The significance of vaccination in protecting the elderly cannot be overstated. In 30% of elderly cases, infections stand as the foremost cause of mortality, underscoring the critical need for preventive measures. Moreover, infections not only exacerbate underlying health conditions but also lead to a reduction in functional capacity. Recognizing the intricate interplay between vaccination and overall well-being, it becomes evident that a proactive approach to immunization is essential in mitigating the adverse impact of infections on the elderly population. In essence, prioritizing vaccination is an integral component of promoting health and longevity in this demographic.