Immunizations recommended for all — young and old


Vaccines are highly recommended for boomers and seniors.


Don’t be afraid to get that shot.Vaccines are important for everyone — all ages accepted.

Routine vaccines are recommended for adults for three reasons — because as you age, your immune system is not as effective as when you were younger, the immune system is aging and some of the vaccines such as for tetanus are not life-long and need a booster, according to Helen Medlin, the nursing program specialist of epidemiology at the Florida Department of Health Brevard County.

“Shingles are at higher risk for an aging immune system,” she added. “Flu vaccine is a yearly vaccine because it needs a booster.”

Seniors 55 and older should get their immunizations for basically three reasons says Medlin — the immunity fades, they have an aging immune system and the virus or bacteria alters so a new vaccine is needed.

“It is just as important to note that older adults are more likely to die from a vaccine booster disease than children,” Medlin said. “They are like saying ‘I never get sick.’ Vaccines are for healthy people and for those who have chronic health conditions as well.”

Medlin urges adults to consider the fact that the vaccination not only is protecting yourself, but you are protecting those around you. So, think of it more as protecting a community.

“There is a whole range of older age group immunizations as shingles, influenza, pneumococcal vaccines (two of them) and tetanus booster, getting this one every 10 years,” Medlin said. “Whooping cough is recommended to get a one-time booster for parents around babies. Influenza vaccine is a yearly seasonal vaccine for everyone six months and older.”

The important thing for older adults to remember is that getting the flu vaccine, no matter the type of flu that comes in flu season, it is the vaccine that will keep them from hospitalization and getting a severe case.

The pneumococcal vaccine is taken against the disease of pneumococcal pneumonia, which is a bacterium and can cause meningitis and pneumonia and has a high death rate.

Pharmacies are licensed to give vaccines for shingles, influenza and pneumonia to those who are 18 and older. The health department carries various vaccines and many adult vaccines with no appointment necessary from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Your primary care physician also can administer vaccines.

“We do a lot of travel vaccines, so people come to us for those who need vaccines.” Medlin said.

The human body is exposed to hundreds and thousands of viruses and diseases every day, concluded Medlin.

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