Vaccines for seniors: what you need to know

Are you up-to-date on all your vaccinations?

 

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, an average of 50,0001 adults die each year from illnesses that could have been prevented by vaccination. Certain vaccinations become highly recommended at age 65+, and there may be some vital vaccines for seniors that you never received when you were younger. We’re here to take a stand with you against unnecessary death or illness.

Good health is worth a shot

Unfortunately, some diseases don’t just affect you, they affect those around you — your loved ones, your friends and the people you work or interact with on a daily basis. That’s why it’s so important to get vaccinated to help protect you and the people you care about. The most common illnesses that are preventable with vaccines2 are:

 

  • Influenza — 1 dose annually
  • COVID-19 — For adults 19 and over
  • Pneumonia — For adults age 65 and over, vaccination could be 2 doses depending on indications
  • Shingles — For adults age 60 and over, 2 dose vaccination
  • Tetanus — After the initial tetanus series, a booster with Td or Tdap every 10 years
 
If you have questions about other vaccinations you should be aware of, talk to your doctor about your unique health needs and the importance of getting vaccinated.

Don’t become a statistic

It is important that all seniors get vaccinated since your immune system weakens as you age, making you more susceptible to the flu and other diseases. In fact, 70-90 percent3 of all flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people ages 65 and older.

Myths about vaccines for older adults

If you’ve been avoiding vaccinations due to what you’ve heard4 in the rumor mill, here are some myths you should be aware of:

 

  • Myth — “I had all my vaccinations as a child.”
    •  Vaccine immunity weakens over time, so you might need a booster for tetanus, diphtheria or pertussis. Ask your doctor.
  • Myth — “Vaccines can make me sick.”
    • Most vaccines, such as flu vaccines, are made with dead virus cells. That means they cannot give you an illness.
  • Myth — “I never get sick.”
    • Even with mild or no symptoms, you still may carry an infectious disease.

 

If you have more questions or concerns about vaccines for older adults, speak with your doctor to put your mind at ease.

Healthy habits to live by

Vaccinations are by far the best way to prevent contracting diseases. However, as an adult age 65+, you can adopt a few simple habits to stay as healthy as possible:

 

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you’re sick, stay home and rest.
  • Cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay active and manage your stress.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and keep a healthy diet.
  • Ask your doctor which vaccines you should get.
 

For more information, talk to your doctor about the wellness services offered by your primary care provider. If you don’t know where to turn, come see if CenterWell Senior Primary Care is right for you.

  1. https://www.nfid.org/campaign-for-adult-immunization/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html
  3. www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/seniors/65-and-older-matte.pdf
  4. www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/index.html
  5. www.nfid.org/about-vaccines/reasons

 

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. You should consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

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Formerly known as Partners in Primary Care and Family Physicians Group, our new name CenterWell reflects our passion for improving the lives of seniors.  Our team is here and ready to help answer any questions you may have.