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National Immunization Month: Recommended Immunizations for Seniors

Apr 7, 2017 by Lulu Jensen

Some preventable diseases can cause illness or potentially death to unvaccinated seniors. Many seniors may believe that they don’t need vaccinations because they had them as a child or young adult, or they worry about the potential side effects that come with vaccines. But adults over the age of 65 are at a higher risk of developing an illness, and an even higher risk if unvaccinated.

Immunizations

Every year, new vaccinations are developed and are now available for your loved one. These vaccinations may not have been available when they were younger, and can help them reduce the risk of certain illnesses.

While these vaccinations are recommended for seniors, it is important that your loved one discusses which vaccines are right for them, with his or her doctor. 

  • Influenza Vaccine:
    The immunity of a flu shot is short-lived and each year the vaccination is updated to be effective against the current or anticipated strain of flu virus. With an annual flu vaccination seniors can reduce their risk of influenza and visits to the hospital. Have your loved one talk to their doctor before getting the flu shot, especially if they are allergic to eggs or latex.  
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine:
    Pneumonia is responsible for over 60,000 deaths per year and is a common illness among seniors. The Pneumococcal Vaccine can reduce the risk of your loved one developing any strain of pneumonia. For more information regarding the pneumococcal vaccine and to know if it is the right vaccine for your loved one, consult their physician.
  • Zoster Vaccine:
    This vaccine has only been available for a couple of years, but it is created to help reduce the risk of or minimize the outbreak of shingles by as much as 50%. Shingles is a painful, blistering rash that forms along nerve endings. For more information regarding the vaccine, and to determine if the vaccine is right for your loved one, discusses this vaccine with his or her doctor.
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap):
    Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, has become more frequent among seniors, due to their fading immunity. Have your loved one discuss with their doctor which vaccination is appropriate for them.

Vaccinations can only reduce the risk of developing illnesses and are not a guarantee that they will completely prevent them. Have your loved one discuss any immunizations with his or her doctor before receiving them. Some vaccination side effects are more common among seniors who have other underlying issues.

Comfort Keepers® Can Help

Comfort Keepers® in Anchorage can help your loved one establish a daily routine that will promote a healthy, safe, and independent lifestyle. We provide around the clock in home care, or companionship for just a couple of hours a week. From driving your loved ones to appointments to light housekeeping, we provide unique caregiving to your loved ones. For more information regarding our in-home care services call us at (907) 885-0186 or click here.

References
https://www.johnmuirhealth.com/health-education/health-wellness/Immunizations/senior-immunizations.html
https://www.vaccines.gov/who_and_when/seniors/

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