It’s a common misconception that immunizations and shots are just for children. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends everyone get a flu shot each year, except those who fall under certain categories or have medical conditions. However, adults 65 and over generally are recommended to receive at least four vaccines as they reach older age, and there are also vaccines for adults over 50.
A 2017 report from the CDC estimated that well over 30 percent of seniors skipped their shots—and shots for seniors can certainly help keep them well and prevent serious conditions, such as pneumonia. Seniors must be careful in all aspects of health, from food safety to ensure they receive regular immunizations.
Read on to learn about the immunizations for seniors everyone over 50 (and 65) should receive, how often to be vaccinated, and what groups of people should not receive immunizations.
Shots for Seniors: How Often Should a Senior Get a Pneumonia Shot?
Pneumonia can be extremely deadly when it strikes an older person, particularly if the person is suffering from other comorbid conditions. If you’re wondering how often should a senior get a pneumonia shot, the answer is only one dose is needed. The CDC recommends that a patient receive this immunization by age 65, but the pneumonia vaccine for seniors can be administered as early as age 50.
The shingles vaccine for seniors should be administered around age 50. It is estimated that one in three people will develop shingles in their lifetime, and it’s much more common as we age. If you are a healthy adult over the age of 50, this vaccine for seniors is highly recommended. Just as with the pneumonia vaccine, only one dose is needed.
Other Recommended Vaccinations and Shots for Seniors
In addition to pneumonia and shingles vaccines, two more shots for seniors are recommended. This includes the flu vaccine and the Tdap booster.
Unlike the pneumonia and shingles vaccines that require only one dose, the flu vaccine changes yearly, so it must be administered once a year. It’s best to receive the vaccine before the flu is out in full force and it’s deep into flu season. The elderly are always at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu, so the flu shot is important. There are differences between the live flu vaccine and the inactive flu vaccine, and based on your medical history, your doctor can let you know which is right for you.
The Tdap booster is for older adults who never received the vaccine as a child. Tdap stands for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, and is one of the more important shots you don’t often hear about. The Tdap vaccine does wear over time, so even if you had the vaccine as a child, you could get a different booster, known as Td.
Shots for Seniors: Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
There are a few conditions under which seniors should not be vaccinated. In these cases, patients should speak with their doctors about the required shots and how they can stay healthy. Those who should not be vaccinated include:
- Those with a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (all vaccines)
- Those with severe allergies (inactive and active flu vaccine)
- Those with a weak immune system (live flu vaccine)
- Those who have trouble breathing or asthma (live flu vaccine)
- Have any long-term heart, liver, or brain problems (live flu vaccine)
- Anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction to vaccines in their lifetime
Again, it’s best to confer with your doctor to see which vaccine(s) are best for you.
To learn more about senior wellness and vaccines for seniors, or to hear about life-changing mobility products such as stairlifts and chair ramps, contact Williams Lift Co. today. Both caregivers and patients should live their best lives.