When it comes to vaccines, elderly people should make sure they get proper treatments to improve their health. As people get older, their immune systems start to weaken, which makes vaccines a necessity for adults over the age of 65. In this post, we will review what you need to know about vaccines for older people, including all of the necessary shots for seniors.
Facts About Vaccines for Senior Citizens
Elderly vaccinated people should arm themselves with as much information as possible to alleviate their concerns. Below are some facts about vaccines for seniors.
Physicians can administer vaccines through simple injections, usually through the arm. However, older adults can also receive them through the mouth or through a nasal spray.
Seniors face a higher risk of complications from many diseases, which vaccines can prevent.
The Alliance for Aging Research (AAR) compiled a document entitled Our Best Shot: The Truth About Vaccines for You and Your Loved Ones, outlining information on vaccines to bust myths both for seniors and caregivers.
AAR also released an educational video to illustrate the importance of older adults receiving an annual flu vaccine.
According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), it is safe to receive multiple vaccinations at the same time. This includes the COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines. If your doctor recommends receiving multiple vaccines at the same time, you should do so.
Some Medicare insurance covers vaccinations for older adults. Part B covers flu, pneumococcal disease, and hepatitis B, as well as vaccines one might need after enduring an injury (i.e. tetanus) or coming into contact with a disease, (i.e. rabies). Part D covers more vaccines but you may incur more out-of-pocket costs. It is best to contact Medicare to figure out what is covered.
The CDC offers The Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool, a free quiz to help older adults figure out the vaccines they need.
The CDC also has a webpage offering more information on vaccines and their side effects.
But what vaccines do older adults need? In the next section, we will review all of the senior shots needed.
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Important Vaccinations for Elderly Adults
Senior vaccines can help keep older adults immune from certain illnesses. Important vaccinations for older adults include:
COVID-19. Older adults are more likely to get very sick from this respiratory disease. The CDC recommends staying up to date with these vaccinations, including booster shots.
Flu. Seniors are more likely to develop serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia. The CDC recommends people older than 65 to receive a higher-dose flu vaccine or an adjuvanted flu vaccine, which can be more effective for people in this age group.
Pneumococcal disease. Older adults are at higher risk of getting sick or dying from pneumonia. The CDC’s Pneumococcal Vaccination page provides additional resources.
Shingles. Healthy adults over the age of 50 should get vaccinated against shingles, which is from the same virus that causes chickenpox. They should get the vaccine even if they already had chickenpox or if they don’t remember having chickenpox. Furthermore, they should get it if they already had shingles or received Zostavax.
Other vaccinations. Diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus are all bacterial diseases that can affect elderly adults. Speak to your doctor about receiving the proper dosage.