Wolf Administration stresses importance of immunizations and COVID-19 boosters for older adults

Your Local Vaccine HQ

Pharmacist Dawn Cohen of ACME Markets administers vaccines to seniors at the Bristol Township Senior Center in Bristol, PA on November 9, 2021. (Courtesy of PACast)

HARRISBURG — Cold and flu season is approaching while the country is still in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the commonwealth wants to make sure older adults are prepared.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the Department of Health stressed the importance of seniors getting their immunizations and boosters to the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We want to encourage all older Pennsylvanians to take advantage of vaccination options in their local community, including their health care provider, pharmacy,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. “It is an easy and convenient way for older adults to get both of these important vaccinations off of their to-do list.”

Torres further noted that protection from a vaccine can decrease as seniors age, making them vulnerable to sickness and disease. He added it is especially important for older adults with chronic health conditions — such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease — to stay up to date on their vaccinations and learn which inoculations are covered by their health care insurance.

Older adults are advised to get the following immunizations:

  • COVID-19 vaccine
  • Influenza (flu) vaccine – one dose annually
  • Tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine, or Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine – adults age 19 and older one dose with booster dose every 10 years
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine or PPSV23 – adults age 65 and older
  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster) vaccination – adults age 50 and older, two doses for those 60 and above

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults 65 and older who have been fully vaccinated should now receive a booster dose. 

You can find a schedule for adult immunizations from the CDC HERE.

“Pennsylvanians, especially our older residents, are best protected if they receive the proper immunizations to keep them as healthy as possible against these potentially deadly viruses,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Please reach out to your health care provider or seek support if you have further questions about these safe and effective vaccines.”

Any questions relating to healthcare concerns should be brought to the attention of an individual’s healthcare provider. However, there is support available for older Pennsylvanians to get their immunizations:

  • To find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you, click HERE.
  • Older adults may be able to receive their flu shot at their local senior center. They should contact their local Area Agency on Aging listed HERE to ask if any vaccination clinics are being conducted in their area.
  • For more information on vaccines for older adults with chronic health conditions and how to pay for vaccines, click HERE.
  • Learn more about the various other programs offered by the Department of Aging HERE.

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