Vaccines remain in the news of late whether it be the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, the change in protocol for the pneumonia vaccine or the development of an ebola vaccine. The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) constantly monitors vaccine effectiveness and publishes a list of recommended senior citizen vaccines.
Below are the recommended senior citizen vaccines.
Flu Vaccine For Seniors
The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for the population beginning at 19 years old. Middle age and mature people are in particular recommended to receive the vaccine. In general flu shots have a good protection rate; however, this years flu cocktail has been less effective than prior years. Health professionals maintain that even though the protection rate is less this year, it is better to be protected or lessen the severity of the flu if contracted.
The 2014-15 is one of the most severe in recent years and the young and older population have been the most effected. Peak flu season is December through February, but cases are reported as early as October and as late as May.
Pneumonia Vaccines For Seniors
Pneumonia is an illness which can be very serious and can be life threatening. It is due to harmful bacteria that attack the tissue in the respiratory system, causing inflammation and many cold and flu like symptoms. Pneumonia can be viral or bacterial with similar symptoms.
The CDC is advised by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) who review and revise vaccination schedules for children and adults. New for 2015 is the recommendation that adults 65 years and older should receive two pneumonia vaccines instead of one. The Prevnar 13 also known as the PCV and the Pneumovax 23 also known as the PPSV23 cannot be given simultaneously. Adults are advised to check with their physician to determine which if any of the vaccines have been administered and devise a schedule to follow vaccination for both in the future.
If you have had chickenpox then you are at risk to contract the Shingles virus. The vaccine Zostavax is advised for individuals 60 years and older to aid in prevention of contracting the disease and if contracted to lessen the post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) pain associated with shingles.
Currently this is a one time vaccine. While approved for individuals 50 years and older, studies show it is more effective for the age group of 60 years old and longer; therefore vaccination is recommended at 60 years of age.
Diphtheria And Pertussis
There are four combination vaccines used to avoid diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough): DTaP, DT, Tdap, and Td. Td and Tdap are recommended for adults and your physician should be consulted as to which vaccine you should receive based on your health and prior vaccine history.
- Td is a tetanus diphtheria vaccine as a booster generally once every 10 years. It is also given if tetanus is a possibility.
- Tdap is a tetanus diphtheria pertussis vaccine.
The best way to avoid pertussis (whooping cough) among senior ones is to get vaccinated and keep your distance from any infected individuals and young infants.