Recommended Vaccinations For Seniors

Getting proper vaccines for seniors is an essential aspect of any health care regimen. For instance, a pneumonia shot for seniors can be just what is needed to avoid a life-threatening health issue during the winter season.

There are many different vaccines for elderly recipients that are geared predominantly toward senior citizens who suffer from a weakened immune system due to age. Getting the right senior vaccines begins with knowing which the most beneficial vaccines are to start with.  The flu vaccine, for instance, is an essential shot that senior citizens should consider every year in order to avoid the illness and complications from the illness. Seniors are more susceptible to illnesses as they age, while simultaneously hindering how quickly they bounce back. To find out more about the available vaccines, continue reading below.

Which Vaccines for Seniors Are Recommended

Vaccines for elderly individuals differ depending on the illness they are intending to prevent. Additionally, there may be some vaccines for older adults that may be a requirement due to health related issues. A few of the common senior vaccines that are important include:

  • Flu
  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis
  • Shingles
  • Pneumococcal
  • Chicken Pox
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

Some senior vaccines may be more important to get then others. For example, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are recommended for senior citizens who may be at certain risk. Meanwhile, the flu vaccine for seniors is one of the most important vaccines a senior should get each year.

When to Get Vaccines for Elderly

Once a senior finds the vaccines will be most beneficial to his or her health, the next step is understand when to get the vaccine. Getting a pneumonia shot for seniors during the summertime may not be as beneficial as getting one once winter approaches. Since cooler temperatures tend to weaken the immune system, seniors become more susceptible toward illness during the colder months of the year. Additionally, cold weather tends to toughen viruses’ outer shell, making it must easier to travel from person to person. Since the immune system becomes weak with age, it will only become more dangerous for seniors citizens once winter hits. Make sure to have all vaccines scheduled or completed toward the middle to end of autumn.

Why are Vaccines for Seniors Important?

Senior citizen vaccines are just as important as the vaccines for children. In fact, protection from childhood vaccines tends to wear off after time, which means that as adults, there is a chance of being at risk. Senior citizens need vaccines in order to help prevent diseases from getting and spreading serious diseases that can compromise their immune system. While adults who catch the flu may have a better chance of fighting the illness and recovering, seniors with a weakened immune system may struggle to maintain health.There are multiple cases every year of seniors dying from the flu, when a simple senior flu vaccine could have prevented it.

The Flu Vaccine For Seniors

There are some vaccines for seniors that hold more weight than others do, which make them more important to schedule ever year. For example, influenza is a respiratory illness that is extremely contagious and can be life threatening for many senior citizens. Seniors are at a higher risk for getting the flu due to the age-related weakening of the immune system.

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For senior citizens who are managing a chronic health condition such as heart disease or diabetes, the flu can be even more dangerous. When the flu lingers in the body or reacts to other health conditions, hospitalization is recommended, but even then, complications can occur. According to the Center for Disease Control, or CDC, the flu vaccination for seniors is the best way to prevent the flu. Seniors should get the flu vaccine every year, as early in the season as possible. It will take up to two weeks from when the vaccine is administered for the body to build up full immunity.

The Shingles Vaccine For Seniors

Shingles is another common virus that can be highly contagious among the elderly. This painful skin rash comes from the same virus responsible for chickenpox. While shingles is less contagious, the long-term pain from the illness can linger. The reason why the shingles vaccine for seniors is so important is because when the immune system weakens with age, there is a reawakening of the dormant chickenpox virus. The older an individual is when he or she contracts shingles, the worse the side effects will be. Side effects from shingles include:

  • Fever
  • Exhaustion
  • Skin rash
  • Skin blisters
  • Loss of appetite
  • Physical deterioration
  • Malnutrition
  • Additional infections

There shingles vaccine for elderly should be administered in two parts—each given several months apart. The two-dose version is nearly 90 percent effective once the second dose is administered.

The Pneumococcal Vaccine For Seniors

One of the most important vaccines for seniors is the Pneumococcal vaccine. Getting a pneumonia shot for seniors is the best to avoid life-threatening illnesses that result pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal disease can cause serious infections throughout an individual’s bloodstream, as well as the major organs. Conditions that can result from pneumococcal disease include:

  • Pneumonia – infection of the lungs
  • Meningitis – infection of the lining of the spinal cord and brain
  • Bacteremia – infection of the bloodstream

Getting the pneumonia shot as a senior means protecting oneself from a life-threatening sickness that claims the lives of over 18,000 adults, 65 years of age and older every year. The pneumonia vaccine for seniors is given in two parts with nearly a year in between. It is important to verify with the doctor in advance whether or not either part of the vaccine has already been administered.

What Seniors Should Expect After Vaccination

When seniors get vaccinated, side effects may develop especially due to the already lowered immune system. While side effects may be mild for some, it is still important to keep watch after a senior vaccine to see if any of the following symptoms should arise:

  • Pain, swelling, redness where the shot was administered
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Chills
  • Mild fever

While it is highly unlikely that a vaccination for a senior will result in serious side effects, if there are any symptoms that are of concern make sure to consult with a professional.

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