Health Watch - Seniors: Vaccinations

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Now that the kids are back to school, let’s take a look at the other end of the demographic spectrum. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about issues affecting senior adults. With worries about the swine flu, it’s as important as ever for seniors to get a seasonal flu shot, but there are other vaccinations older adults should be getting to protect their health.

Dr. Craig Rubin, chief of geriatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says a pneumonia shot can protect against multiple forms of bacterial pneumonia. Pneumonia is a common complication of the flu and is the leading cause of illness and death among seniors. Older adults should also make sure their tetanus vaccinations are up-to-date. You need a booster every ten years. The tetanus bacterium lives in dirt and dust and usually enters the body through cuts or punctures. 

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/geriatrics to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in geriatrics.

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September 2009


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