Vaccines you should take from birth through adult life


Vaccines without any doubt has 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 a nation. Today, economies & 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 & 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 this 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;

-BCG vaccine for Tuberculosis
Hepatitis B

-Influenza B
-Hepatitis B
-Meningoccocal group B

Pneumoccocal vaccine
-All the vaccines you took at 2 months, except Meningococcal vaccine

-All the shots you took at 2months, except Rotavirus

-Meningoccocal C
-Meningoccocal B
-Hemophylus B


AT 12 – 13 YEARS
-Human papillomavirus or HPV (types 16 & 18 cause cervical cancer while 6 &11 cause genital warts)


  • Diphtheria
  • Polio
  • Meningococcal


  • Pneumoccocal
  • Influenza


  • Shingles

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 a few suggestions that could guide you.
In Nigeria, 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 at 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.

A mother and her baby being Vaccinated.

It is always safe to ask your mother if 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 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 the cancer in her hospital 2 wks ago. This incidences are very common and is 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 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.


  • Nwonye Brian Chidiebube attended the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH in Ituku Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria.

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