Vaccination protects seniors from serious illness
Vaccines are a simple, quick, and inexpensive way to protect seniors from serious illness.
Vaccines are important because people aged 65 and older have weaker immune systems or ongoing health conditions that put them at higher risk of complications from vaccine-preventable diseases.
For example, about 320,000 people get pneumococcal pneumonia every year, which leads to over 150,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths, mostly among older adults.
We explain why vaccines are essential for senior health and share the top 4 recommended vaccines for seniors.
Why vaccination is important for senior health
The most important reason to keep up to date with vaccinations is that seniors are more vulnerable to serious and possibly life-threatening infections.
Older adults also need to keep vaccines current because:
- They might not have been vaccinated as a child
- New or more effective vaccinations might be available now
- Their immunity could have faded over time
4 recommended vaccines for seniors
Seniors should discuss these 4 vaccinations with their doctors:
- Pneumonia – PPSV23 and possibly PCV13 as well (talk to doctor)
- Shingles vaccine
- Tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (Tdap)
Note: The CDC recommends that people over 65 years old ask their doctor if getting both pneumonia vaccines will better protect them from sepsis (bacterial infection in blood), meningitis, and pneumonia.
Bring the CDC vaccine schedule to doctor’s appointments
The CDC created a handy adult vaccine schedule that shows which vaccines are recommended at which ages.
Print it out and take it to your older adult’s next doctor appointment.
The schedule helps you find out more about vaccines they might need and make sure they aren’t missing important vaccines that would help protect their health.
Pro tip: An easy way of taking notes is to circle the vaccines the doctor recommends. If your older adult isn’t getting the shots right away, you’ll be able to remember which ones are needed in the future. If they get the vaccines right away, you can write the date next to each vaccine they received and have your own record.
CDC online vaccine finder creates a custom list for doctors
Another quick way to figure out which vaccines you should ask your older adult’s doctor about is to take the CDC’s online vaccine quiz.
Answer 10 simple yes/no questions to get a list of recommended vaccines to print out and show to your older adult’s doctor.
Recommended for you:
- Flu Vaccine for Seniors: Covid-19 and the 2021-2022 Flu Season
- 7 Tips for Helping Seniors at the Doctor’s: Being a Health Advocate
- 5 Questions to Ask Doctors About Tests and Treatments for Seniors
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
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