With COVID-19 and its vaccine protocol at the forefront of healthcare currently, I felt it is equally important to discuss the other recommended vaccinations for adults. In our senior population treated in my practice, prevention is imperative for improved outcomes.
The other vaccinations include Influenza, Tetanus, Varicella, Zoster or Shingles, and Pneumococcal.
INFLUENZA OR LAIV4
The Flu shot is familiar to most of the population. Given yearly, it is recommended for all adults. Certain allergies and medical conditions do prohibit specific adults from getting this vaccine. Immunocompromised adults, pregnant women, and those without a spleen are some of the people who are counseled against getting the Flu shot.
TETANUS OR TDAP
Most adults of this generation were vaccinated as a child with Tdap. An initial vaccine can be given at any adult age. Booster shots are recommended every 10 years, or when a perceived infection risk occurs and the booster history cannot be confirmed. Lower extremity wounds are common in the elderly, especially with other conditions like diabetes and peripheral neuropathy, reducing their ability to feel. Those with wounds are often given booster shots since vaccination records are not readily available.
Most adults of this generation were vaccinated as a child with Varicella. If not, an initial 2-dose series of the vaccine can be given at any adult age. It is contraindicated in pregnancy and severe immunocompromising conditions.
ZOSTER OR SHINGLES
It is recommended for adults over the age of 50 and is a 2-dose series of RZV (Shingrix) 2 to 6 months apart regardless of prior herpes zoster or history of zoster vaccine live (ZVL, Zostavax). Many patients have complained of getting a small shingles infection, but most have a blunted version when having the vaccine.
PNEUMOCOCCAL OR PPSV23
This vaccine is recommended to adults over the age of 65. Adults should be immunocompetent. One dose of PPSV23 every 5 years is recommended. Pneumonia and respiratory illness is the most common cause of death in the senior population thus making this vaccine highly important.
Hansa Medical Groupe has offices at 5250 Old Orchard Road, Suite 300, in Skokie, and in Chicago, 847-920-0902, hansamedicalgroupe.com.