Recommendations for Immunizations for Aging Adults
Immunizations are commonly thought of as something we all receive as children – but less so as we mature. Certain childhood immunizations, on the other hand, wear off over time, leaving adults and the elderly unprotected.
All adults, regardless of their health status, are encouraged to receive recommended vaccines to help prevent the spread of dangerous diseases. However, it is critical for older persons with chronic health conditions to protect themselves from further illnesses by staying current on their vaccinations. What immunizations are recommended for persons 65 years and older?
Vaccine Against Seasonal Flu (Influenza)
Influenza can be a serious illness for the elderly, requiring hospitalization and, when combined with other illnesses, proving fatal. Since 2010, the CDC estimates that up to 710,000 flu-related hospitalizations have occurred. Flu season can begin as early as October and run until May - it is therefore critical to receive the flu vaccination as soon as possible for maximum coverage. Vaccinations against influenza can protect against up to four different viruses, including H1N1, H3N2, and two distinct influenza B viruses. This vaccination is most frequently given as a shot.
TD Vaccine or Tdap Vaccine
This immunization protects against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough and is provided for the first time at the age of two months. It is advised again for preteens aged 11-12 and then every ten years thereafter. For certain patients, Medicare Part D insurance will cover up to 100% of immunization costs.
Vaccination Against Pneumococcal Disease
Elderly individuals are the most at-risk group for pneumococcal severe infections that can be fatal. These infections can range from pneumonia to infections of the ear, sinuses, and bloodstream. As with the majority of vaccines, while this one does not totally prevent disease, studies indicate that it protects 75% of persons 65 years or older against invasive pneumococcal disease. Medicare Part B pays the full cost of pneumococcal vaccinations.
Vaccine against Zoster
The zoster vaccine helps prevent the varicella-zoster virus, more frequently referred to as chickenpox and shingles. Adult shingles are recognized to have a considerable effect on a person's short- and long-term morbidity. This vaccine reduces a person's risk by 51% and is suggested for individuals aged 50 to 59 years old for optimum protection.
Before receiving any immunizations, see a healthcare expert who can evaluate your health and determine whether you are a candidate for the vaccination.
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