Flu shot season and more: Immunizations for seniors

BHC Flu shot main 0919.jpgIt’s that time of year! Time for fall leaves and flu shots!

Everyone who is able should get a seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine every year. This includes seniors. Over 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older.

Because there are so many different flu strains, no one vaccination can be 100 percent successful,but it is worth getting the vaccine which reduces the risk of getting the flu by about 50 percent.

Seniors should also talk to their doctors about other vaccines that can protect them from diseases common to those ages 50 and older. These diseases can be especially dangerous for those who have chronic conditions.

Some recommended immunizations include:

  • Tdap – Every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough).
  • Td (tetanus, diphtheria) – Adults need a booster shot every 10 years or sooner if exposed to potentially infected materials such as a rusty nail.
  • Shingles vaccine – Seniors are vulnerable to shingles and the complications that can occur from this painful disease. Shingles vaccine is recommended for healthy adults ages 50 and over.
  • Pneumonia vaccine – Pneumococcal vaccines protect against infections in the lungs, such as pneumonia, and infections in the bloodstream. Pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for all adults over 65 years old, and for adults younger than 65 years who have certain chronic health conditions.

Keep family and caregivers up to date on vaccinations. Talk with a healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended.