“August is an ideal time for families to ensure that all of their loved ones have access to the recommended immunizations and are protected for the coming year,” said Susan Peschin, MHS, Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Aging Research. “This is particularly true for older adults, who are the most vulnerable to many infectious diseases and illnesses—especially those that can be deadly like flu and pneumonia.”
As the children all begin to head back to school, we are reminded that specific immunizations are required to start that each school year. Each age range has a specific set of immunizations that are recommended or required for them to have each year. However, immunizations are a good idea for everyone, not just for children. Protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off over time. Adults may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable disease due to age, job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions.
All adults need immunizations to help them prevent getting and spreading serious diseases that could result in poor health, missed work, medical bills, and not being able to care for family. The CDC states that almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. Your risk of shingles increases as you grow older. Additionally, over 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older.
As we get older, our immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting us at higher risk for certain diseases. This is why, the CDC recommends:
- All adults need a seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine every year. Flu vaccine is especially important for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, and older adults.
- Every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td(tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years. In addition, women should get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.
- Shingles vaccine, which protects against shingles and the complications from the disease (recommended for healthy adults 50 years and older)
- Pneumococcal vaccines, which protect against pneumococcal disease, including infections in the lungs and bloodstream (recommended for all adults over 65 years old, and for adults younger than 65 years who have certain chronic health conditions)
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha Be sure to talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended for you at your next medical appointment.
The Alliance for Aging Research is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health.
For more information and to read the full articles regarding National Immunization Month please see the following links: