Vaccinations Articles

Lower your heart attack and stroke risk with a flu shot

A flu shot may lower the risk of having a heart attack, a stroke, heart failure, or another major cardiac event—including death—by about a third over the following year. A flu shot may be even more beneficial for people who have recently suffered a heart attack. Experts recommend a flu shot for everyone 6 months of age or older. It’s best to get the vaccine in the fall, but January is not too late because flu season usually peaks in February. For those over 65, a high-dose vaccine is available, but it hasn’t been proven to fend off the flu better than the regular vaccine.  (Locked) More »

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 »