Who are Immunizations for?
While the COVID vaccine has been top of mind recently, there’s a whole lineup of vaccines that protect infants, children, teens, parents, and the elderly from sixteen harmful diseases that can even lead to hospitalization or death.
Certain conditions such as age, job, or lifestyle, can play into a person’s risk for certain diseases. Based on specific criteria, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created guidelines for what immunizations to get and when to get them. Ultimately, immunizations are designed to be accessible to everyone, barring certain health reasons.
Check to See If You’re Up to Date
It’s hard to keep track of our movements or meals so knowing what vaccines you need can be even more daunting. But this month is National Immunization Month so let’s take some time to check in on what immunizations you need to be up to date. Feel free to ask for help figuring this out from a doctor, loved one, certified caregiver, or personalized elder caregiver.
Immunizations by Age Group
Generally, the CDC divides vaccine recommendations by general age groups: birth to 6 years of age, 7 years of age to 18 years of age, and 19 years of age to older. However, there are specifics to keep in mind once you start to reach your more elderly years, around 65 years of age. Other factors at play are any relevant health history, when you received certain immunizations, and any intentions to travel.
Immunizations for 60 Years or Older
These are specific vaccine recommendations to be up to date if you are older. Here’s a list of recommended vaccines:
- Seasonal flue (influenza) vaccine – this should be yearly starting in infancy
- Td or Tdap vaccine – this protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. and is recommended from a young age.
- Pneumococcal vaccines – this protect against pneumococcal disease, including infections in the lungs and bloodstream and is recommended for those 65 years of age and older.
- The Zoster vaccine – this is the shingles vaccine. Shingles is caused when the same virus as chickenpox becomes active again, and is recommended for adults 50 years and older.
Get Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines
Older adults are more likely than younger people to get very sick from COVID-19. Studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of getting this disease.
The CDC recommends COVID-19 primary series vaccines for everyone ages 6 months or older, and COVID-19 boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older, if eligible. Use CDC’s COVID-19 booster tool to learn if and when you can get a boosters to stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.
General Words of Wisdom about Vaccines
Before receiving a vaccine make sure you talk to a doctor, pharmacist, or certified caregiver about your health history and any concerns you might have concerning your immunizations. Vaccines are here to help so it’s important to start this conversation today with someone you trust. If you have a record of vaccines received and the corresponding dates that would also be helpful to share or to start tracking!