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J Gerontol Nurs. 2012 Jul;38(7):16-20. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20120605-01. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Recommended routine vaccinations for older adults.

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  • 1Medical University of South Carolina, Collge of Nursing, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


A goal of primary prevention is to avoid the development of disease. Immunizations are one of several strategies used by clinicians in primary prevention. Influenza and pneumococcal disease--both preventable--cause significant morbidity and mortality in older adults who have an altered immune system, often have several chronic health problems, and are at higher risk for complications. Tetanus, while not as common in older adults, carries a high mortality rate in those 65 and older. These infections are associated with significant disability that results from hospitalizations for congestive heart failure, hip fracture, stroke, and pneumonia. The goal of immunizing older adults is to decrease functional decline and disability, as well as potential hospital admissions linked to these preventable diseases, which often exacerbate underlying health problems. Age-defined recommendations are available to guide clinicians on the appropriate vaccinations and schedules for administration to older adults.

Copyright 2012, SLACK Incorporated.

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