August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and we want you to be aware that your primary care team and pharmacist are important resources to discuss which vaccines are right for you and your family. Below is information on three vaccine recommendations for people over 60 and why we recommend them.
Influenza “Flu” Vaccine
- The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every flu season, which usually peaks in the fall and winter.
- The best time to get your flu shot is before November, so your body has built up a strong defense before flu season peaks. Flu shots usually become available in early September and are available through March.
- The type or strain of flu can vary year to year, so the flu vaccine is made from the four most common types of flu in order to give you the best chance of protection.
- If you are 65 years or older, ask for the high-dose flu vaccine because studies suggest it better protect you.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus “RSV” Vaccine
- RSV is a common respiratory virus and can cause serious illness in children, people over the age of 60, in people with lung conditions, and in people with heart conditions.
- RSV is easily spread and is most common in the fall and winter.
- The CDC recommends that if you are aged 60 or older, you take the vaccine to protect you against getting RSV.
- Pneumonia is an infection in your lungs that can be caused by a virus or bacteria.
- Pneumonia vaccines are available to help protect you against pneumonia caused by bacteria.
- If you are aged 65 or older, a one-time dose of the Prevnar 20 pneumonia vaccine is recommended by the CDC.
- If you have previously received a pneumonia vaccine, check with your doctor as some people may need more than one dose.
Vaccines are an important way to protect yourself against illness. While the vaccines above are strongly recommended, there are other vaccines you may want to consider such as COVID-19, Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) and Shingles. It is important to talk with your primary care doctor to make sure you are updated on the vaccines you need to help you live your new well.