Vaccinations: Essential for Seniors & Chronic Health Patients



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Vaccines are necessary for adults age 50 and older, particularly those with chronic health conditions.

Often, we think of children getting vaccinated before they start school in the fall. Seniors and older adults need to get their vaccinations, also. You should know that if you or your loved one has diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), certain vaccines can prevent severe illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that such patients receive a vaccine yearly to protect against seasonal flu.

Those with COPD or asthma should receive pneumococcal vaccines to protect against pneumonia and a Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

These diseases would quickly cause a person with COPD or asthma to become seriously ill and even experience long-term hospitalization.
The CDC recommends this for everyone over 60 years of age.

In addition, the zoster vaccine is recommended for adults age 65 and older to protect against shingles, a common virus among people who have had chicken pox at an earlier age.

It’s also important for adults to get the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available.

Shots for Adults with Chronic Health Conditions:

Patients with diabetes have a weaker immune system making them vulnerable to infections from diseases such as pneumonia and hepatitis B.

The CDC reports that patients with diabetes have higher rates of hepatitis B than the rest of the population. Outbreaks of hepatitis B associated with blood glucose monitoring procedures have happened among people with diabetes. The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for those who have diabetes.

Having heart disease can make you more vulnerable to certain diseases or make complications more likely to develop when you catch them.

Again, these patients should have an annual flu vaccine, pneumonia and whooping cough vaccines, and a zoster vaccine.

Always check with your doctor to know which vaccines suit you and your health conditions. Ask about the side effects you can expect from a vaccine.

You can also check what vaccines you need by taking the Adult Vaccine Quiz presented by the CDC. Vaccines are available at many pharmacies at low prices.

Public health department clinics are one location to get low-cost vaccines. You may also get vaccines at your workplace, senior centers, university health clinics, and community health fairs. Insurance will usually pay for vaccines.

It’s important to keep your vaccinations up to date as you get older and new vaccines become available.

find a place near you to get a vaccine, go to HealthMap Vaccine Map.

Do you have diabetes? Then, then see if there’s KEEP Healthy Kidney Disease screening going on near you.