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Vaccinations are not just for kids

December 8, 2013
Reinbeck Courier

Did you know that an estimated 1 million Americans get shingles every year, and about half of them are 60 years old or older? Over 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older.

Immunizations are NOT just for kids! Regardless of age, we ALL need immunizations to keep us healthy. With time, immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off and you may be at risk for new and different diseases. With adulthood comes responsibility, including the need to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

As we get older, our immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting us at higher risk for certain diseases. When older adults get these diseases, they can have more severe illnesses than younger people. Vaccines can help boost the immune system to lessen the risk of older adults getting vaccine-preventable diseases. Even if you were vaccinated at a younger age, the immunity from those vaccines can wear off or the virus or bacteria that the vaccine protects against changes so your resistance is not as strong.

Wendy Monaghan, Grundy County Public Health, encourages families to start the conversation. "Remind your family, friends, co-workers, and those in the community to get vaccinated each year against the flu. If they are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations, they protect themselves and those around them, especially babies too young to be vaccinated. We want people in Grundy County to be as healthy as possible."

Vaccines Recommended for Older Adults

Influenza vaccine, which protects against seasonal flu (for all adults ever year)

Td vaccine, which protects against tetanus (for all adults every 10 years)

Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also known as whooping cough) (for all adults once instead of Td vaccine)

Pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against pneumococcal diseases that cause infections in the lungs, blood, brain and ear (for all adults over 65 years old, and for adults younger than 65 years who have certain chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or who smoke)

Zoster vaccine, which protects against shingles

(for adults 60 years or older)

Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated. Ask your doctor which vaccines are recommended for you.



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