August is National Immunization Awareness Month. As you grow older, your immune system begins to weaken. This means that elderly individuals do not respond to immune challenges as sufficiently as younger individuals.
Vaccination and COVID-19
The risk for severe illness with COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at the highest risk. Lincoln’s Local Healthcare Authority, Bryan Health, has recently shared that 92.6% of their inpatient hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. COVID-19 vaccination can reduce the spread of disease overall, helping protect people around you.
Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from contracting COVID-19. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are authorized and recommended in the United States to protect against COVID-19-related hospitalization among adults 65 years and older. According to a CDC assessment, fully vaccinated adults 65 years and older were 94% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people of the same age who were not vaccinated. People 65 and older who were partially vaccinated were 64% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who were not vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines were developed using science that has been around for decades.
Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, which have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. The vaccines are not experimental and have gone through all the required stages of clinical trials. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you contract it. These vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.
Additional Recommended Immunizations
In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, other immunizations are important to receive to remain healthy. Each year, before the end of October, all adults should get a flu vaccine and a Td vaccine every 10 years. Healthy adults 50 years and older should get the shingles vaccine.
Adults 65 years or older need one dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) followed by one dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). Adults younger than 65 years who have certain health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or HIV may also need one or both of these vaccines. Adults may need other vaccines based on health conditions, jobs, lifestyle, or travel habits.
Talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended for you at your next medical appointment.
Via The Journal of Clinical Investigation, The CDC, and Bryan Health
Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you:
Text your ZIP code to 438829
Go to vaccines.gov
You can also sign up and schedule an appointment