AUGUST is NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS MONTH
Many seniors might think that the days of vaccinations are way behind them. However, medical experts say that is not the case. Protection from many illnesses, whether natural or provided through a needle, is not necessarily permanent.
Older adults are at increased risk for many vaccine-preventable diseases that cause serious illness and death. Suspicion and fear about vaccination is fairly common among African Americans. The legacy of racism in medicine and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, a clinical trial conducted with African Americans who were denied appropriate treatment opportunities, are key factors underlying African Americans’ distrust of medical and public health interventions, including vaccination against the flu.
DID YOU KNOW…
* Influenza and pneumonia are the ninth leading causes of death for all ages in the United States. The elderly are among the hardest hit.
* In the United States, the majority of deaths from influenza occur among those over 65 years old.
* Only 60.6% of Americans 65 and older were immunized against pneumococcal (pronounced (noo-muh-KOK-uhl) pneumonia.
Pneumococcal pneumonia can infect the upper respiratory tract and can spread to the blood, lungs, middle ear, or nervous system. The
elderly are especially at risk of getting seriously ill and dying from this disease. People with certain medical conditions, such as chronic
heart, lung, or liver diseases, or sickle cell anemia are also at increased risk for getting pneumococcal pneumonia.
* African Americans are least likely to be vaccinated compared to any other racial or ethnic group in the United States.
* In 2010, just over half of African American adults age 65 and older (53%) reported receiving the influenza vaccine that year, compared with
65% of white adults in the same age group.
* The herpes zoster vaccine (also known as the “shingles” vaccine), recommended for all seniors 60 years old and older, has the lowest adult
THERE ARE FOUR VACCINATIONS PEOPLE OVER 60 SHOULD HAVE
1. A yearly flu shot.
2. The pneumococcal vaccine. This vaccine protects you against the most common type of pneumonia (pneumococcal). Unlike flu shots, only one inoculation is required.
3. The herpes zoster vaccine. Herpes zoster, better known as shingles, is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the virus that causes chickenpox. The shot is recommended only for seniors who have had chickenpox.
4. The one dose of Tdap, a booster for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). A Td booster to guard against tetanus and diphtheria is then recommended every 10 years.
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO FIND OUR WHAT VACCINATIONS YOU NEED: