Vaccinations

Vaccinations Articles

Fall vaccination roundup

Autumn is a good time to review vaccination histories. A flu shot is recommended annually. Some people think it’s okay to skip this vaccine, but the CDC reports that up to 49,000 people in the United States die from the flu in a bad year. A pneumonia vaccination is recommended just once for adults ages 65 and older. Tetanus boosters are needed once every 10 years. And a vaccination against shingles is recommended for people 60 and older. (Locked) More »

Flu shot: Good insurance, not a guarantee

Not everyone who gets a flu shot will obtain full immunity from infection, but it’s still worth getting. It’s especially important for people with lung disease, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions. Severe flu infection can be dangerous. About 90% of deaths from flu occur in people 65 and older. In addition to vaccination, frequent hand washing and avoiding public places can reduce the chances of getting the flu. If the flu does strike, taking antiviral medication may reduce the severity and duration of the illness. (Locked) More »

Vaccinations: Myth vs. reality

Vaccines are just as important for preventing disease now that we’re older as they were when we were children. Yet many older adults fail to get the vaccines they need to protect themselves against diseases such as the flu, pneumonia, and shingles. More »

Shingles vaccination

The Zostavax vaccine is safe for use by healthy adults to prevent shingles, a painful condition caused by previous infection with the chicken pox virus. It also helps prevents persistent shingles pain, known as post-herpetic neuralgia. (Locked) More »

Why you still need pertussis vaccination

Pertussis rates are rising in all age groups. An Australian study found that older adults with pertussis are more likely to need hospitalization, which underscores the need for older adults to get vaccinated. (Locked) More »

Is the new pneumonia vaccine better?

Two pneumonia vaccinations are available. The newest one, Prevnar 13, stimulates higher antibody levels. Research is under way to find out if the new vaccine works better. Everyone over 65 or at risk of pneumonia complications should be vaccinated. (Locked) More »

What you need to know about: vaccines

All adults are advised to get flu vaccines each year. However, immunization doesn’t last a lifetime, so you should check to see if all of your vaccinations are current. You need a tetanus booster every 10 years. All adults 65 or older should get the pneumonia shot once (and a second time after age 65 if the first shot was given when they were younger than 65). The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the shingles vaccine for people ages 50 and older; however, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices continues to recommend that vaccination begin at age 60. More »

Keeping up with your vaccinations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revises its immunization guidelines every year. No new vaccines have been added but there are some changes for 2011, in particular ones that apply to people at middle age or older. Here's a quick summary which includes flu shots, Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal vaccine. (Locked) More »

The shingles vaccine

For people who have had shingles, the question of whether or not to get the vaccine to prevent a recurrence is not easily answered. Some pretty good data suggests that the risk of recurrence is quite high and, particularly if you've had a bad case, getting the vaccination would seem to be a prudent precaution. But it's also possible to make a case for the evidence not being all that solid. More »