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Immunization of Seniors for Patients

 Click here to find a vaccination site near you! 

Immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting older adults (60 years or older) at higher risk for certain diseases. Vaccines help boost the immune system to lessen the risk of getting vaccine-preventable diseases. When older adults get vaccine-preventable diseases, they can have more severe illnesses than younger people. An estimated 1 million Americans get shingles every year, and about half of them are 60 years old or older. Over 60% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older. (CDC)

Vaccines that may be recommended for older adults include:

  • Influenza vaccine

  • Td vaccine

  • Tdap vaccine

  • Pneumococcal vaccine

  • Zoster vaccine

There may be other vaccines to consider because of your health, job, or lifestyle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extensive resources for patients regarding immunizations and older adults. Click here for more information from CDC about vaccines for older adults.

Influenza and Older Adults

People ages 65 and older are at higher risk for complications from influenza (flu) such as pneumonia. These people are more likely to go to the hospital or die from flu-related complications. As adults age, their immune systems get weaker, making them more likely to catch infections and to have more serious disease.

The best way to prevent flu is getting the vaccine. People ages 65 years and older should get a yearly flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has specific information on flu for this group.

Seniors ages 65 years and older currently have two flu vaccines available to them. This season, people 65 years and older will have three flu vaccines available to them - a regular flu vaccine, a  flu vaccine with a higher dose which will result in a stronger immune response against flu, and a flu vaccine that includes one additional flu strain than the regular flu vaccine. The higher dose vaccine may have more of the mild side effects that occur with the standard-strength seasonal vaccines. Mild side effects can include pain, redness or swelling at the injection-site, headache, muscle ache and fever.

  • Talk with your doctor about which type of seasonal flu vaccine is right for you.

  • Ask your doctor if you should get the higher dose flu vaccine.

Vaccination is the best protection for older adults against influenza and influenza-related complications. 

Last Updated: 9/17/2013

Immunization of Seniors for Ob-Gyns

 Click here to find a vaccination site near you! 

Immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting older adults (60 years or older) at higher risk for certain diseases. Vaccines help boost the immune system to lessen the risk of getting vaccine-preventable diseases. When older adults get vaccine-preventable diseases, they can have more severe illnesses than younger people. An estimated 1 million Americans get shingles every year, and about half of them are 60 years old or older. Over 60% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older. (CDC)

Vaccines that may be recommended for older adults include:

  • Influenza vaccine

  • Td vaccine

  • Tdap vaccine

  • Pneumococcal vaccine

  • Zoster vaccine

There may be other vaccines to consider for your patients because of their health, job, or lifestyle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extensive resources for health care providers regarding immunizations and older adults. Click here for more information from CDC about vaccines for older adults.

Influenza and Older Adults

A 2010 Cochrane review on influenza examines the best evidence–based interventions to increase influenza immunization in the elderly.

Flu viruses circulate annually, peaking from September to May. People age 65 and older are at increased risk for complications from flu and should get a yearly flu shot. This season, people 65 years and older will have three flu vaccines available to them - a regular flu vaccine, a  flu vaccine with a higher dose which will result in a stronger immune response against flu, and a flu vaccine that includes one additional flu strain than the regular flu vaccine. The higher dose vaccine may have more of the mild side effects that occur with the standard-strength seasonal vaccines. Mild side effects can include pain, redness or swelling at the injection-site, headache, muscle ache and fever.

  • Talk with your doctor about which type of seasonal flu vaccine is right for you.

  • Ask your doctor if you should get the higher dose flu vaccine.

Vaccination is the best protection for older adults against influenza and influenza-related complications.

People 65 years and older have some of the highest rates of hospitalization and death as a result of influenza infection. Over 60% of influenza-related hospitalizations occur in adults 65 years or older. Pneumonia is a serious complication of influenza infections and causes more death among people age 65 and older than any other group. CDC has specific information on influenza (flu) for persons aged 65 and older.

Last Updated: 9/17/2013




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