As we get older, our immune system tends to lose strength; this puts the elderly at risk for certain diseases. The elderly can take steps however, to reduce their chances of getting and spreading serious diseases that could result in poor health.   An estimated 1 million Americans get shingles every year; about half of these are people over 60. Further, 60% of seasonal flu hospitalizations occur in people over 65 years of age. Getting vaccines can help seniors reduce their chances of getting serious diseases; the recommended vaccines for the elderly include:


Seasonal Flu Vaccine – This vaccine protects against the virus that causes respiratory illness.   People with allergies to the vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine (egg, gelatin, antibiotics)

Pneumococcal – A lung inflammation caused by bacteria or viral infection in which the air sacs fill with pus and may become solid. Inflammation may affect one or both lungs. This vaccine protects against infections of the lungs and bloodstream; recommended for adults over 65 years of age, and for adults younger than 65 with certain chronic health conditions. There are two types of vaccines:

PCV13- For Children younger than 5 and all adults 65 years and older. Also for people 6 years and older with certain risk factors)

PPSV – All adults who are 65 years or older and for people 2–64 who are at high risk for pneumococcal diseases.

Zoster Vaccine – One in three million people will develop shingles; each year in the United States an estimated one million cases will be diagnosed each year. Anyone who has recovered from the chicken pox is susceptible for shingles. It is recommended that adults age 60 years and older receive the one time, single dose vaccine.

Tdab – Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis – The vaccine protects against diseases caused by bacteria. Tetanus is rare in the United States; it usually occurs through a cut, scratch or wound. Tetanus can cause painful muscle tightening and stiffness; usually all over the body.

Diphtheria, also rare in the United States, is a thick coating in the back of the throat. This can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis and death.

The first Tdap is given at 11 or 12 years of age. A td booster is recommended every ten years.

Pertussis Also known as whooping cough can cause severe coughing spells, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and disturbed sleep.

Be sure to see your health care provider regarding all your vaccine needs. For more information visit

Leave Message