Most adults make the assumption that immunizations are pretty much over with once they are an adult as long as they get all of the necessary shots when they were a child or teenager. However, there are immunizations that are necessary even in adulthood, especially once you get older. There are a handful of immunizations that are recommended for seniors, either because this age brings on more risk of certain illnesses or diseases or because it has been a lot of years since a vaccine was given. Take a look at three immunizations you should talk to your doctor about if you are a senior citizen.
- Flu vaccinations are usually recommended for senior citizens for a few reasons:
- you could be more susceptible to a flu virus because of a lowered immune system
- the symptoms associated with the flu can exacerbate other illnesses or diseases you have
- flu symptoms can be harder for you to handle at your age than they would be for a younger adult
Flu vaccines are typically given annually and are not always the same formulation because flu threats can change from one season to the next. So make sure you talk to your doctor about getting a flu vaccination if you have not had one.
If you are over the age of 60, it is recommended that you get the shingles vaccine. As much as half of the population will get shingles by the time they reach the age of 85 if they are not vaccinated. Shingles is an illness that is caused by the chickenpox virus, which can lay dormant in your system for many years and show up later as shingles as a senior citizen. Shingles can be incredibly painful and hard to get over, but can easily be prevented safely with the vaccine.
The pneumococcal vaccine, also known as the pneumonia vaccine, is designed to help prevent some of the more serious infections that can lead to things like meningitis and pneumonia. It is not at all uncommon for pneumococcal infections to be fatal for senior citizens because their bodies cannot fight the infection the same as someone who is younger. This vaccine is effective at warding off these infections and is especially important if you already suffer from conditions that can compromise your immune system, such as certain forms of cancer or chronic kidney disease.