Vaccines can protect you from serious diseases so that you can stay healthy as you age. Every age group has particular vaccine needs, with older adults needing to pay attention to certain vaccines that haven’t needed updating through most of adulthood.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) publishes easy-to-read resources about important vaccines at www.cdc.gov/vaccines, as well as guidelines for what vaccines you should be getting when you are between 50-64 and what you should receive once you are over age 65.
It is important to talk to your healthcare providers about the recommended vaccinations that could help protect you from infectious diseases. Conditions like liver disease, diabetes, kidney disease, spleen problems, heart disease, or chronic lung disease might mean that you need certain additional vaccines. If you have a weakened immune system for any reason, there may be some immunizations you are unable to receive, in which case your healthcare provider can answer questions about how these circumstances might apply.
If you are 65 years or older, these are the immunizations that the CDC recommends that you should receive (unless a health professional recommends against them for any reason):
- Flu vaccine (every year)
- Td or Tdap/Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td booster every 10 years, Tdap if not received previously)
- Shingles (2 doses of RZV OR 1 dose of ZVL, even if you had shingles)
- Pneumococcal (ask a health professional for the recommended type)
These are immunizations you may want to ask about:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hib/Haemophilus influenzae type b
For more information, see the CDC’s chart of their Recommended Vaccinations by Age.
Call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636) for additional information about immunizations.