Why are Immunizations Essential for Seniors?
While there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, researchers all over the world are racing to create one. Keeping this in mind, United Methodist Communities wants to raise awareness of why immunizations for seniors really matter.
Immunizations and Seniors
Each year, thousands of adults are hospitalized with diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations, leading to costly medical bills, possible long-term damage to health, and even risk of death.
Seniors are especially vulnerable as the immune system becomes less effective with age, making it more difficult to fight off infections, and the protection from vaccines you received as a child can wear off. Seniors also often have other health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, which can be further compromised by contracting additional viruses and infections. Because of these high risk factors, seniors are more likely to require extended hospitalization, when there is a risk of picking up a hospital-acquired infection.
What Vaccines are Recommended for Adults 65 and Older?
- Your annual flu vaccine (IIV or RIV)
- Your tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccine (Tdap or Td) every 10 years
- Zoster recombinant (RZV) vaccine
- Zoster live vaccine (ZVL)
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23)
Hepatitis (A and B), meningococcal (A, B, C, W and Y) and hemophilus influenza type B, depending on your medical history of vaccines and other risk factors as recommended by your physician. Other vaccines may be recommended if you travel a lot to certain countries or if have a particular pre-existing health condition such as liver disease, heart disease or diabetes.
Medicare Vaccine Coverage
Medicare Part B covers certain immunizations including the seasonal flu shot, seasonal H1N1 flu vaccine, pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine, and hepatitis B shots for high-risk beneficiaries. It will also cover certain vaccines if required as a result of treatment, for example, if you need a tetanus shot after stepping on rusty metal.