What Vaccinations Do Seniors Need to Consider?
While most vaccination discussions this year have centered on companies like Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, but what are other vaccinations do seniors need to consider? Because illness prevention is such an important aspect of good aging, knowing which vaccines you need and when you need them is crucial.
By taking a proactive approach to wellness, which includes speaking with your primary care physician about immunization, could help you avoid serious health issues. While incorporating in other healthy lifestyle changes that will assist you in healthy aging, such as exercise, a well-balanced diet, and avoiding sedentary behavior.
What Vaccinations Do Seniors Need?
So, which vaccinations should you discuss with your doctor? They’ll almost certainly make recommendations based on your personal and family medical history, but here are a few to consider:
A case of seasonal flu can cause serious harm to an elderly person, whereas a younger individual may be over it in a week, so it’s recommended that persons over 60 years old should get an annual flu vaccine. In fact, seniors account for the bulk of influenza-related hospitalizations each year. The flu vaccine has been tweaked to boost immunity against the types that are expected to be the most common during any given flu season. While the shot may not fully prevent influenza, it can help to reduce the severity and duration of the illness.
Shingles vaccine: Shingrix, a novel vaccine for preventing shingles, a painful skin rash, and blisters, was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017. Because this vaccination is so effective, its predecessor, Zostavax, is no longer available in the US. Shingrix, unlike Zostavax, does not use a live virus in its vaccination. This two-step vaccine is recommended for anyone over 50 who has had chickenpox or previously experienced shingles. If you don’t know if you had chickenpox as a child, your doctor may advise you to get this vaccine. The protection is expected to last at least five years.
Pneumococcal vaccine: Pneumonia can be fatal in people over 65 years old. A two-step vaccination, on the other hand, offers hope. The two dosages should be given one year apart, according to the general standards. Those who are immunocompromised or have a persistent health problem, on the other hand, may be advised to space them out by eight weeks. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV13) is the first dosage, while pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is the second (PPSV23). This combination of immunizations is considered to provide lifetime protection.
Tdap vaccine: This is another vaccine that almost everyone should get. It protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough), all of which are potentially fatal diseases. There has been a recurrence of whooping cough, which was nearly eradicated, as more adults choose not to have their children vaccinated. The Tdap vaccine is a dead bacteria-based vaccine that is inactive. This means that if you get it, you won’t get sick.
Hepatitis vaccine: While there are many other kinds of hepatitis, hepatitis A and B are the ones against which patients get immunized. These immunizations are not required for everyone. They will be recommended by your doctor based on your lifestyle. People with chronic liver disease, people with a history of illegal drug use, and people who travel internationally to places where these disorders are common are all good candidates.
Make the Most of Your Medicare Wellness Visit
It’s critical to communicate with your doctor about your health plan, which involves more than simply your vaccine schedule. The Medicare Wellness Visit, fortunately, allows you to do just that. It’s a yearly appointment that’s covered by Medicare. It’s intended to motivate you and your doctor to collaborate on a specific treatment plan that includes regular bloodwork and exams.