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Vaccine Vitals Over Age 60

Who really needs vaccines? Seniors, that’s who. Staying up-to-date on routine immunizations as you get older is just as important as when you were a child, and can be a vital step for a safe and healthy life as a senior. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, seniors need vaccines for the following diseases. Talk to your doctor. 

  • Influenza (Flu, Annually)
  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
  • Pneumococcal disease (Pneumonia)
  • Tetanus 
  • Diphtheria 
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Bhaskar Palekar, MD, FACP, of Beebe Internal Medicine, Lewes, says your immune system becomes more susceptible to common ailments like shingles, pneumonia, and the flu the older you get. “The incidences of infections increase as we get older, and our immunity goes down at the same time,” Dr. Palekar says. 

The severity of infections as we age is higher, as are the complications that can occur. The vaccination for shingles, for example, reduces the severity of the infection for the older person, as well as the level of pain he or she experiences.

The Tdap vaccine is also very important for new grandparents. To hold your precious newborn grandchild, you will need to get this vaccine to protect them from the potential threat of Whooping Cough.

If you have questions about which vaccinations are right for you, talk to your primary care doctor or contact our population health team at (302) 645-3337 for more information. 

This Article Appeared in the Winter 2017 Issue of The Beacon.