Recommended Immunizations for Older Adults
As you get older, the ability of your body to fight off infections, resist colds and the flu, and recovery from illness becomes less efficient. This means that the need for recommended immunizations for older adults becomes more important. By addressing certain illnesses before they can strike, you can keep your immune system ready for the other challenges that it will face.
While many will think of vaccines as being for kids, older adults are also in need of the additional protections that they provide. What follows is just a few types of vaccines that are recommended for older adults.
Shingles is a painful condition that everyone over the age of 50 should be vaccinated. Using the Shingrix vaccine is 97% effective on those aged 50 to 69. And even those 70 and older are protected up to 91%. Arguably the main reason to be vaccinated is to prevent postherpetic neuralgia or PHN from setting in as a result of shingles which is quite painful and may last for years.
A flu shot just might save you from an extended trip to the hospital and in rare cases, it may save your life. All adults should get a flu shot every year and do so just as fall arrives. This is because a flu shot takes about two weeks to kick in. It should be noted that a flu shot only protects against certain types of known illnesses, but that is more than enough reason to get the protection.
Once you turn 65, you should get the PPSV23 vaccine which is the one that helps prevent pneumonia from occurring in the lungs. You can also get the PVC13 or Prevnar 13 vaccine for additional protection. Pneumonia is quite deadly, killing about 1 in 20 seniors who contract it. The vaccine prevents the bacteria which causes pneumonia from forming in the body which results in avoiding most cases of this condition.
Studies have shown that children which receive the PVC13 vaccine may indirectly protect seniors as they are the ones that often contract the bacteria. If you are not able to take the vaccine yourself, then having the kids in your home get vaccinated may work as well.
Other vaccines to consider is one to protect against pertussis or whooping cough and a measles booster as well. This is not only for your protection, but if you are around toddlers and especially babies, being vaccinated for both can protect them as well by not spreading the condition. You should consult with your doctor about the proper vaccinations to receive as you grow older.
Getting recommended immunizations for older adults is not only smart, it makes good sense both for your health and your finances. By preventing certain illnesses from occurring, you stay healthy and may even stay out of the hospital. By being proactive, you can lead a healthier, more comfortable life that lets you do what you want with less fear of certain illnesses and infections from taking hold.