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Z Gerontol Geriatr. 2013 Oct;46(7):673-9; quiz 680-1. doi: 10.1007/s00391-013-0532-6.

[Vaccination in the elderly].

[Article in German]

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Klinik f├╝r Geriatrie, Universit├Ątsklinikum Jena, Bachstr. 18, 07743, Jena, Deutschland,


The aging immune system, so-called immunosenescence, is well documented as the cause of increased infection rates and severe, often complicated course of infections in the elderly with increased morbidity and mortality rates. Furthermore, it can lead to decreased efficacy of vaccination. The administration of more immunogenic vaccines can be beneficial in the elderly. Implementing vaccination recommendations for the elderly by STIKO can reduce burden of infectious diseases by prevention of infection or reduction of severity of infection. The following vaccinations are recommended by STIKO for all persons aged 60 and above: annual influenza vaccination (additionally all nursing home residents independently of age), once only pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination, completion of tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccination as well as regular revaccination. All adults should be vaccinated against pertussis with Tdap vaccine once. Meanwhile, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is allowed for administration in adults but is not recommended by STIKO yet. A lifelong course of vaccination may help to attenuate the effect of immunosenescence.

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