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What Vaccines Should Seniors Schedule besides COVID?

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Now that winter is here, seniors must prepare for what could be a challenging time when it comes to staying healthy.

Money Talks News’ recent article entitled “Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines” says that there are other vaccines you should consider, especially if you are 50 or older. The aging process weakens our immune systems and puts us at greater risk for several types of disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults 50 or older schedule the following vaccines. Speak with your doctor before getting any vaccine because there are some exceptions to CDC recommendations.

Flu shot. The CDC recommends that all adults get a flu shot. However, it’s especially important for seniors and those with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease. These people have a greater risk of developing serious complications if they catch the flu, which can be deadly.

Shingles vaccine. Shingles is a painful rash and this condition can cause symptoms that last months or years. Moreover, it can even cause permanent blindness. A newer vaccine, called Shingrix, is more than 90% effective in preventing shingles in older people, according to the CDC. Ask your doctor about it.

Tdap or Td vaccine. This vaccine protects you against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. You’ve most likely had this vaccine in the past, but if you haven’t, the CDC urges you to get it. The Td vaccine only protects against tetanus and diphtheria, and requires a booster every 10 years.

Pneumococcal vaccines. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines available in the U.S.: (i) pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or PPSV23, which protects against serious pneumococcal disease, including meningitis and bloodstream infections; and (ii) pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or PCV13, which protects against serious pneumococcal disease and pneumonia.

The CDC recommends PPSV23 for all adults 65+ and adults younger than 65 years who have certain health conditions.

The CDC recommends PCV13 for all adults with any of the following:

  • A condition that weakens the immune system;
  • A cerebrospinal fluid leak; or
  • A cochlear implant.

The CDC also says adults 65 years or older who’ve never received a PCV13 vaccine and don’t have any of the three conditions mentioned above can discuss and decide with their physician whether to get PCV13.

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Reference: Money Talks News (Dec. 8, 2021) “Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines”