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5 Important Vaccines for Seniors to Be Aware Of
The topic of vaccines has been extremely common in many social circles recently, and while much of this discussion surrounds recently-developed COVID-19 vaccines, there are several others that are also very important for human health. In particular, seniors and older adults should be vaccinated against a few common diseases to keep them safe, and the new COVID vaccines are just one example among several.
At Cozy Retire, our caring services within all our senior living communities include a full bevy of medical areas, including ensuring the proper vaccinations are received by those who need them. Whether you’re a senior, a family member or any other caregiver, which are some of the most important vaccines older people should be speaking to their doctor about? Here are several.
Annual Influenza (Flu) Vaccine
Because their immune systems are less robust, the most important thing seniors can do to stay safe is receive an annual flu vaccine. Though these are not perfect, they make it less likely that a senior will come down with the worst symptoms of the disease. Flu shots differ each year based on the ways this virus mutates; this is why it’s important to get a new shot every year.
Shingles is a debilitating condition affecting many older adults, and one of the best ways to avoid getting it is to receive a shingles vaccine. As seniors age, their immune systems become weaker and more likely to produce the virus that causes this condition.
In order to keep it from developing, many doctors will recommend receiving a vaccine known as Shingrix, which has been shown to be nearly 100% effective against shingles after two doses.
One of the worst parts about shingles is that even if a patient does not have it upon first contracting the virus, there’s still a chance of developing it months later. With this vaccine, you can significantly decrease your chances of getting shingles.
As seniors age, their immune systems begin to decline, which means that they are less likely to fight off illness when they come down with it. Problems with the respiratory system are one of the most common infections affecting older adults within the US, and pneumonia is one of the worst types.
Pneumonia vaccine can help keep seniors safe by making them much less likely to develop this condition in their older years. However, it’s important to note that pneumonia vaccine is not a one-size-fits-all solution; different types of the vaccine will be recommended based on the medical history of individual patients.
This vaccine provides protection against three conditions: tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. This inoculation will provide seniors with the protection they need if they work in jobs where there is a risk of exposure to these conditions.
It’s important for all people to get TDAP vaccinations, but it is especially vital for older adults who are more likely than younger people to come into contact with these dangerous conditions. It also provides them with a little more protection against visiting foreign countries, where tetanus is common in many places.
One of the worst dangers facing older adults comes from viruses that are hard to detect and easy to spread. Hepatitis A is one of the biggest risks for seniors, and a hepatitis vaccine can help keep them safe from this common infection.
Though this particular virus is typically transmitted through water or food, seniors are more likely to come into contact with it because their immune systems are weaker than younger patients. In fact, people over age 55 have the highest risk of developing severe cases of Hepatitis A.
For more on the vaccines it’s important for seniors to have taken, or to learn about any of our caring assisted living programs, speak to the staff at Cozy Retire today.