AAugust is National Immunization Awareness Month.
It is important for all ages to get vaccinated.
Many recall those trips to the doctor or pharmacy as a child. Dreading the needle and anticipating the post-vaccine lollipop. Immunizations required for school prompted our need to get vaccinated.
Vaccines do not abruptly end in childhood. As we get older, our bodies require additional protection against certain diseases due to a weaker immune system. Vaccines are important preventable health measures to protect your body against potentially serious infections.
Why does getting vaccinated matter? It protects you and your loved ones from getting and spreading serious diseases. Getting vaccinated allows you to travel, see family and friends, and have peace of mind. We are coming out of a global pandemic and many of us spent a period not seeing our loved ones for safety reasons. The COVID-19 vaccine allowed vaccinated people to protect themselves and their loved ones against possible illness and hospitalizations. In 2022, over 1.9 million people over 65 had a risk of complications and hospitalization from the flu and COVID-19.
Approximately one million people develop shingles each year and 1 in 3 adults will develop shingles in their lifetime. Shingles is a viral infection that causes rashes and can lead to permanent nerve damage. Two shingle vaccine doses are over 91% effective preventing shingles and possible nerve damage.
Recommended vaccines for seniors. The CDC recommends adults over 65 years receive their shingles, pneumonia, high dose flu, and Tdap vaccines. Additionally, COVID-19 and Hepatitis B are recommended for all adults. Recently, the FDA approved RSV vaccines for older adults. Please talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about which vaccines are right for you.
The high dose flu vaccine should be administered once annually. Shingles vaccines are in a two doses series. The pneumonia vaccine has several options and your provider or pharmacist will recommend what’s right for you. Tdap boosters are administered once every 10 years. While the COVID-19 vaccination series consists of two primary doses and at least one booster, it is common for many seniors to be on their fourth or fifth dose.
Importance of boosters. Boosters give an added layer of protection to your immune system. By the time you reach older adulthood, your immune system needs a refresher. The COVID-19 boosters will provide you with better protection against new strains of COVID-19 and improve your body's ability to lessen severe symptoms.
Where can I get vaccinated for free in Nevada? You know how important they are and you want to get your vaccines. The next step is to find out where to go. Free or low-cost vaccine resources include Immunize Nevada, the local health department, your pharmacy, your doctor’s office and often at your local senior center.