Senior man getting the flu vaccine to promote senior health.

Importance of Vaccinations for Seniors

Importance of Vaccinations for Seniors

You may have recently heard lots of things in the news lately about vaccinations for children, but did you know that adults and seniors need them as well?

Many older adults feel they don’t need vaccinations or are worried about side effects, but the startling facts are that seniors are at a greater risk of complications from diseases. In fact, according to, an estimated 45,000 adults die each year from complications due to illnesses that could have been prevented with the right vaccines.

So, what are the most important vaccines for older adults? Let’s find out.

Most Important Vaccinations for Senior Health

While it’s important for you to discuss with your doctor any health concerns you may have, it also helps to educate yourself on important vaccinations before you go to your next appointment. This way, you can advocate for your health and get the answers to any questions that arise.

  • Influenza Vaccine – No surprise here. Experts recommend getting a flu vaccine every year, especially adults over the age of 65. When it comes to the flu vaccine, it’s important to get it early in the season each year to make sure it’s effective as possible against the current strain of the flu virus.
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine – This important vaccine can help protect seniors from contracting pneumonia caused by pneumococcus bacteria. Doctors recommend it for anyone over the age of 65 and the vaccine is effective enough that it only needs to be given once in most situations.
  • Shingles Vaccine – This vaccine is sometimes overlooked but it’s an important one. The herpes zoster vaccine can help protect against the painful condition of shingles. After getting the chicken pox, the virus can live in nerve endings and show up later in life, typically over the age of 60, as this uncomfortable condition.
  • MMR Vaccine – The CDC recommends anyone born after 1956 gets vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella viruses. Typically, you only need this vaccine once in your lifetime, so make sure to have your doctor look into your health history at your next visit.
  • Tdap Booster Vaccine – This powerful vaccine can protect against whooping cough, Diphtheria and pertussis. The whooping cough is especially dangerous for infants but has been recently causing problems for older adults as well. This booster shot is necessary every 10 years.

There are other vaccinations that older adults should ask their doctor about, but these four are the most important. Be sure to bring your medical history to your next doctor’s appointment and talk about your options. Be an advocate for your health.

Pursue a Healthier Lifestyle at St. Joseph of the Pines

In your retirement years, your priorities shift. When you are ready to find lower maintenance living, consider exploring St. Joseph of the Pines. Our beautiful North Carolina campuses take care of the simple tasks associated with daily living so you can focus on finding new hobbies, exploring old interests and getting the most out of life. Learn more about our continuum of care and contact us today to schedule a tour of Belle Meade or Pine Knoll.

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