This Fall, the Alliance Calls on Older Adults to Get COVID-19 Boosters and Back on Track with Routine Vaccinations
Published September 13, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 13, 2022) — While the COVID-19 pandemic was paramount in reigniting understanding of the importance, functionality, and urgency of vaccinations, isolation caused many to delay important medical visits and procedures, including routine vaccinations. According to the Alliance for Aging Research (Alliance), Fall is a great time to get back to not only get a COVID-19 booster and influenza shot, but to also get back on track with all of the CDC’s recommended adult vaccinations.
In addition to the recent recommendation that people ages 12 and up get a bivalent COVID-10 booster, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also recently released recommendations to include an enhanced flu vaccine for older adults. Read the summary here.
“Getting back on track with our vaccinations may mean getting routine boosters, updates to vaccines we got when we were younger, or vaccines that are recommended with age as our immune systems decline,” says Lindsay Clarke, Senior Vice President of Health Education and Advocacy at the Alliance. “The Alliance is pleased with the CDC’s recent recommendation of the enhanced flu vaccines for older adults—since they tend to offer better protection by producing a stronger immune response. Fall is the perfect time of year to get a COVID booster if you’re due for one, get your annual flu shot, and check to be sure you’re up to date on the rest of your vaccinations.”
Adults, especially age 65 and older, should talk to their healthcare professional about what vaccines they need, that could include:
- Influenza (flu)
- SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
- Pneumococcal (pneumonia)
- Tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis
- Varicella (shingles)
- *Additional vaccines based on individual lifestyle and risk factors
According to an Avalere study, between January 2020 and July 2021, an estimated 37 million doses of routine vaccinations were missed.1 Now that people are returning to more normal schedules and scheduling missed health care appointments, they also need to be sure to get back on track with their routine vaccinations, to keep not only themselves but also their loved ones healthy and safe against potentially serious infections. Skipping routine vaccinations makes us vulnerable to infectious diseases like COVID-19, flu, shingles, pertussis, and more.
As we get older, our immune systems naturally weaken and put us at risk for complications from diseases. Illnesses like the flu can pose a greater threat to those with compromised immune systems. In fact, the risk of heart attack and stroke goes up six times within one week of a confirmed flu infection.2
The Alliance recently released a number of resources that emphasize the need for routine vaccinations, and provide guidance on what vaccines are needed. A Quick Guide to Vaccination for Adults Ages 65 outlines the symptoms and potential complications of some of the most common infectious diseases, the recommended vaccines for adults, and a tear-off vaccine tracker to organize vaccination history. To download it, visit us here.
To learn more about what vaccinations you or a loved one may need, view videos, download resources and toolkits, visit us here and be sure to get vaccines scheduled today. Be sure to visit www.vaccines.gov to find out where to access vaccines in your community.
“The bottom line is that vaccinations are one of our best defenses against many infectious diseases, especially for older adults who may have chronic conditions like heart disease, lung diseases, and diabetes that make them more susceptible to complications,” says Clarke. “It’s never too late to get back on track. Sharing resources with loved ones is crucial to protecting them, yourself, and others from preventable diseases.”
The Alliance for Aging Research is working hard to increase awareness of the importance of vaccination in all ages, as well as which vaccinations are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Alliance produced a series of animated films and resources for older adults and loved ones to learn more about the importance of the adult vaccination schedule. These can be viewed at www.agingresearch.org/ourbestshot.
- Our Best Shot: The Truth About Vaccines for You and Your Loved Ones
- 2022 Video: Getting Back on Track with Routine Vaccines (full video)
- 2022 Video: Getting Back on Track with Routine Vaccines (60 seconds)
- 2022 Video: Getting Back on Track with Routine Vaccines (30 seconds)
Later this cold and flu season, the Alliance will release a series of videos on Respiratory Syncytial Virus, commonly referred to as RSV. While more commonly known as a virus among children, RSV can also cause severe infection in older adults.
The Alliance for Aging Research is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance believes advances in research help people live longer, happier, more productive lives and reduce healthcare costs over the long term. For more than 30 years, the Alliance has guided efforts to substantially increase funding and focus for aging at the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration; built influential coalitions to guide groundbreaking regulatory improvements for age-related diseases; and created award-winning, high-impact educational materials to improve the health and well-being of older adults and their family caregivers. For more information, visit www.agingresearch.org.
This message from the Alliance for Aging Research is made possible with support from Johnson & Johnson, CSL Seqirus, Genentech, GSK, and Pfizer. For more information about Our Best Shot, Alliance for Aging Research, or to interview an expert on this topic, please contact Katie Riley, Vice President of Communications, at [email protected]