Peninsula Home Care Promotes Two Pneumonia Vaccines For Seniors During National Immunization MonthPublished on - August 17, 2015
Both shots recommended by the 2015 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
SEAFORD, DE – Scheduling vaccinations regularly is one of the single most important steps of staying healthy and preventing illness, year-round and long-term. An estimated 45,000 adults ages 65 and older die annually from complications due to vaccine-preventable diseases.
“One of the biggest dangers is overestimating the power and duration of immunizations. While immunizations help keep the body safe from harmful diseases, they need ‘boosters,’ or follow up vaccines, to keep the immune system up-to-date,” said Robyn Coughenour, Peninsula Home Care at Nanticoke director of clinical operations and acting branch director.
In addition to follow up vaccines and boosters, healthcare providers, like Peninsula Home Care, keep track of yearly changes in recommendations made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This year the recommendation was made for adults 65 and older to get both the Preynar 13 and the Pneumovax 23 vaccines – a year apart from each other.
Preynar 13 protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria and Pneumovax 23 protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. These two vaccines protect seniors from bacterial infection in the blood, meningitis and pneumonia. Older people have increased risk of life-threatening infection from these bacteria. The risk of invasive pneumococcal disease in seniors is nearly ten times that of other adults.
Symptoms of Pneumococcal Disease
There are many types of pneumococcal disease. Symptoms depend on the part of the body that is infected.
Pneumococcal pneumonia (lung infection) is the most common form of the disease. It causes the following:
- Fever and chills
- Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
“Both the Preynar and the Pneumovax vaccines are to be given at different times because they recognize and defend against bacteria and viruses in different ways,” added Coughenour. “For seniors, the Preynar 13 vaccine is usually given first with the Pneumovax 23 vaccine administered one year later.”
Since the new recommendations are being made by the CDC’s vaccination committee (ACIP), individuals are encouraged to contact their insurance providers for specific information regarding cost coverage.
Senior Vaccination Hot List
For seniors specifically, the most important vaccinations to get are:
- Preynar / Pneumococcal (Pneumonia)
- Influenza (flu)
- Shingles (zoster)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
In order to keep up with future vaccinations, keeping an up-to-date immunization record and knowing what’s already crossed off the vaccine “to-do” list makes organizing future immunizations that much easier. Vaccination records are also necessary for most educational and occupational registration processes, so keeping a record serves multiple purposes.
For the list of CDC recommended vaccines for seniors, please go here: Immunization Chart for Seniors 50+ for 2015, where the timing and frequency of vaccines is explained.
About Peninsula Home Care
Providing skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy for more than 30 years, Peninsula Home Care ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home. The agency has served more than 50,000 patients in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties in Maryland and Sussex and Kent counties in Delaware. In 2017, PHC and PHCN were designated as Preferred Home Care Provider by Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Nanticoke Health Services.