Seniors need vaccines other than flu shot

May 11, 2012 at 10:50 PM
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ATLANTA, May 11 (UPI) -- Vaccines and immunities -- including shingles, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis -- wear down as people age, U.S. health officials say.

Dr. Andrew Kroger of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said many older people don't realize they might need vaccines besides their annual flu shot.

"Adult immunizations are an excellent way to prevent many diseases that can be deadly," Kroger said in a statement. "Vaccines aren't just for kids. Some of the protection you got from childhood vaccines may have worn off."

For example, many got the chickenpox vaccination as a child, but chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus and shingles is more common among people age 60 and older.

"If you're over 60, you may need a shingles vaccination," Kroger advised. "And you might want the vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, or whopping cough -- known as Tdap."

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