We are all affected by degeneration when we reach a certain age, especially when we grow old with some disease such as Diabetes, Hepatic (liver disease), kidney disease and cancer that weakens the immune system and allows infectious intervention. Ensure that elders have received their recommended vaccine to boost their immune response.
The Royal College of Physicians of Thailand suggested essential vaccines as follow: Flu vaccine, Pneumococcal vaccine, Zoster vaccine and Tdap vaccine (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis)
- Influenza Vaccine
Influenza is a seasonal contagious disease. People in old age are at higher risk of serious complications compared to the younger population. Complications in elderly are pneumonia, ischemic heart disease, and heart attack which lead to hospitalization and death.
Suggestion: make sure the elderly and associates have received the influenza vaccine during seasonal flu disease each year.
- Pneumococcal Vaccine
A pneumococcus bacterium is seriously dangerous, and it’s also known as the leading cause of pneumonia and many types of illnesses such as sinusitis and otitis media. Senior patients with underlying diseases ex; diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, kidney failure and HIV infection are at the high-risk group of developing meningitis and septicemia.
Suggestion: risky group and adult age above 50 years old should have registered the vaccine; starting with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and followed by the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) 8 weeks afterward.
- Zoster Vaccine
Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus that has infected the body and stayed inactivate. When the body’s immune system gets weaken by age or illness, the virus reactivates as shingles and cause painful rashes. Moreover, the severity of shingle can lead to some complication such as eye infection, blindness, ear infection, deaf, lung infection, meningitis and death.
Suggestion: elderly age over 60 should receive a zoster vaccine
- TdaP Vaccine
Tetanus and Diphtheria are considered as life-threatening diseases for elders and have increased its danger by causing greater number of death. Pertussis is a contagious respiratory infection affects chronic coughing occur with elders who have never received a vaccine or the immunity against the virus has weaken.
Suggestion: elders should receive Tdap vaccine boosting every 10 years and have it injected after the age 60 years old.
Elderly is a group of people who should be given extra attention due to their degeneration. Besides having proper nutrition, exercise, good hygiene and friendly environment; receiving essential vaccines can work as an armor to protect them against diseases, reduces possible complication and improve their quality of life.