Following the proper vaccination schedule is one of the simplest and most effective steps you can take to help prevent certain diseases. Those recommendations don’t stop once you’re an adult, and they can change as you age and new vaccines are developed. Additionally, certain medical conditions, such as shingles, become more likely as you age, and old immunizations expire. Let us work with you to set up an immunization schedule suited to your specific medical needs.
The CDC recommends all persons older than 6 months receive the influenza, or “flu,” vaccine annually to help protect against changing strains of the disease. Individuals with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk of contracting the flu and having flu-related complications such as pneumonia.
Visit your provider each year in the fall as soon as the flu vaccine is available for the most complete protection possible.
Caused by the streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, pneumococcal disease is responsible for causing pneumonia, ear infections, meningitis and blood infections. In seniors, these conditions are particularly dangerous and may even lead to death, but a single dose of the pneumococcal vaccine can help protect you.
All persons age 65 or older and younger persons with certain health conditions such as diabetes should receive the pneumococcal polysaccharaide vaccine (PPSV23), which protects against 23 different disease-causing pneumococcal bacteria.
Shingles is a painful condition caused by varicella zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox. Symptoms include a rash, pain, tingling, fever, stomach problems and headaches. If the rash occurs on the face, it may cause damage to your vision. The CDC recommends a single dose of shingles vaccine at age 60, or earlier depending on your medical history.
Tdap (Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis) or Td (Tetanus-Diphtheria)
Regular Tdap or Td vaccine boosters are now approved for all adults, including those 65 and older. For adults, a one-time dose of Tdap should be supplemented with a Td booster every 10 years, or a physician may choose to provide a booster earlier if you are at risk of tetanus. Pertussis prevention is especially important if you work or spend time with young children who are vulnerable to the disease or you have a compromised immune system.
Certain medical conditions, travel plans and risk factors may make you a candidate for additional vaccines such as those for hepatitis A and B. Your physician can review your history and help you select the right immunization options to stay healthier longer.
If you have questions about immunizations and which ones are right for you, talk with our Family Medicine Provider, Alison Shepherd, MSN, APRN, at East Arkansas Medical Group’s Family Medicine Clinic. Schedule your appointment today at www.ForrestCityAnytime.com.