Harvard Health Letter

Fall vaccination roundup

Vaccines are the best protection when it comes to ghting certain illnesses, especially in our older years, when the immune system is weaker.
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Get your flu shot, and consider getting vaccinated against other diseases, like pneumonia and shingles.

No vaccine is a guarantee you'll avoid a disease, especially in your older years. "Vaccines are a third less effective when you're older because the immune system ages and becomes less vigorous," says Dr. Mark Poznansky, director of the Vaccine Immunotherapy Center at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. But vaccines are the best pro-tection we have when it comes to certain illnesses. It's in your interest to take advantage of them, especially when some conditions, such as pneumonia and flu, wind up killing tens of thousands of people every year and hospitalizing hundreds of thousands. The vast majority of those people are 65 and older.

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