Having admitted last week that my habits run more towards listening to NPR than they do towards reading the newspaper you might be surprised to learn I was pulled up short a few weeks ago when I read the headline, “Older Adults Are Still Skipping Vaccinations”. Really? Now, it’s not that I was under the impression that my urging you to get out there and get some of those vaccines about a year ago would be enough to convince all to do this but surely more of you would get out there to do this? Apparently not.
The flu shot? You don’t need it? It will result in making you sick? Wrong. Dead wrong. Literally. Do you know the Center for Disease Control estimates 226,000 were hospitalized on average each year for the flu? And that 50-70% of that number is over the age of 65? It does not take a rocket scientist to tell you that going into the hospital when you’re older aren’t so great.
If you’re over the age of 65 you need, as in you really need to get, the two Pneumococcal vaccines. Pneumonia is nothing to laugh at, funny spelling aside. Hard to enjoy your Next Chapter while working with lungs that aren’t functioning well.
Other good ones to get include the Meningococcal vaccine to prevent or lessen the impact of meningitis, the shingles vaccine and Td/Tdap for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). You’ll want the Td/Tdap if you have contact with infants and younger children so do be sure to get that.
Has your primary care doctor or healthcare provider not discussed these with you? There’s nothing wrong with you taking the lead and asking for them! Be an advocate because I assure you, your healthcare provider isn’t going to suffer the pain and suffering that comes from these things when you’re laid low by them! Are you one of those people that believe you won’t need these vaccines because you live a good, clean life or stay isolated in the woods and don’t come in contact with others? Let’s be honest ~ you’re not reading this if you’re living out in the woods in some remote cabin since it’s unlikely you’ve got wi-fi! Good, clean living is great but it does not protect you against the nasty things in life like shingles, whooping cough or pneumonia. Remember Jim Henson? The creator of the Muppets? He died in less than 72 hours from pneumonia. Yucky stuff.
Please. I know its a bit uncomfortable to get the vaccines and it might be a bit costly but it really is worth it. Enjoy all that you’ve worked for by taking of these simple steps now.
Wishing you the best for your week!