A flu shot for seniors isn’t just about avoiding the misery associated with illness; it’s about potentially saving a life. As we age, our immune systems weaken, leaving us at risk for serious reactions to common viral infections. Vaccinations can drastically reduce this risk, but only when people take advantage. If you have fallen behind on your vaccinations, learn which ones are the most vital to good health.
Over the past several years, vaccination rates for children have steadily risen. On the other hand, the rates for older adults have remained stagnant, leaving millions of seniors at risk of being hospitalized, dying or, in the case of shingles, experiencing debilitating effects that can persist for years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following vaccines are critical for Americans over the age of 65:
- Influenza (Flu)
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
- Pneumococcal disease (Pneumonia)
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Since many seniors live in retirement communities that promote social interaction, they are at a high risk of contracting viral infections from one another. With this in mind, it’s important to get vaccinated to keep from spreading illness.
But I Was Vaccinated Years Ago
Contrary to popular opinion, you may require an inoculation even if you received that same vaccine as a child or young adult. Over time, our bodies can lose much of their resistance to common viral infections. You doctor can help you determine if a booster shot is appropriate for your particular situation.