According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as people age, their immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting them at higher risk for certain diseases. In fact, about half of the 1 million Americans who get shingles every year are 60 years old or older, and over 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years and older. As such, it’s important to engage aging populations in your communities about the importance of getting the vaccines that will protect them against diseases that could have serious effects on their health (e.g., seasonal flu, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, pneumococcal, and shingles).
To help drive those conversations, the Gerontological Society of America has released a series of resources that local health departments and providers in their jurisdictions can use to educate their aging population and people with chronic conditions:
- Report: Advancing the National Adult Immunization Plan Through a Focus on Influenza
- Newsletter: What’s Hot in Immunizations Across the Aging Continuum
- Report: Public Policy & Aging Report: Vaccination, Prevention, and Older Adults
- Toolkit: Communication Tools
- Campaign: BandAGE of Honor website and infographic
Check these resources out and use them during National Immunization Awareness Month and beyond.