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Vaccines Seniors Need Now

Vaccines Seniors Need Now

It’s great that you’re already getting your annual flu shot (you are, aren’t you?), but that’s not the only vaccine you need to schedule.

“After you turn 50, you need a vaccine for shingles, a painful viral infection caused by the same varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox,” said Megan Mills, RHP, PharmD, pharmacy manager at Archbold’s Pinetree Pharmacy. “Even if you had chickenpox as a child, you can still get shingles.”

The newer Shingrix vaccine for singles is much more effective than the Zastavax vaccine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people get the newer vaccine even if they’ve had the older one. It is a two-dose communication, so you have to return to your doctor or pharmacy for a second shot after two to six months.

Every 10 years, whatever your age, you need a tetanus and diphtheria (Td) booster. If you never received a pertussis vaccine, then you need a regular Tdap vaccine instead. If you don’t have proof of immunity against the measles, you may need the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine as well.

Once you’re age 65, you need to get a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23), which protects against pneumococcal bacteria that can cause pneumonia, meningitis and bloodstream infections.

Adults who have only received the PPXV23 vaccine should receive the PCV20 (or PCV15 if PCV20 is unavailable) at least a year after PPSV23.

Some seniors will also need the additional pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) for further protection, depending on their underlying health conditions. Adults who have received the PCV13 vaccine should also receive the PPSV23 vaccine at least one year later.

Archbold Pinetree Pharmacy offers vaccinations for flu, shingles and pneumonia. Call 229.235.8844 for hours and more information.