Elderly

Elderly
As we get older, our immune system tends to weaken over time, putting us at higher risk of infectious diseases.1

Vaccines can help to reduce the risk of getting vaccine-preventable diseases. 1

Even if you were vaccinated at a younger age, the immunity from some vaccines can wane over time. 1

Read on to learn more and talk to your doctor about which vaccines are appropriate for you.

Recommended vaccines for the Elderly
Expand All | Collapse All

 
  • Influenza
    influenza
    DISEASE:
    • Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses.2
    • There are 4 strains of flu viruses circulating. Ask your healthcare provider on how to protect against the 4 flu viruses.3

    TRANSMISSION:
    • Respiratory droplets when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.4
    • Touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes.4
    • Singapore has year-round influenza activity and has had variable peak activity over the years. Due to undefined peak of disease activity, the Ministry of Health in Singapore issues advisories once or twice a year when new vaccines with a change in formulation are released. Ensure that you are protected against flu through vaccination 4

    SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:6
    chart influenza


    POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS:
    Flu may result in some complications, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.6 Possible complications from flu include: 6
    • Pneumonia
    • Sinus and ear infections
    • Worsening of chronic conditions such as asthma and chronic heart disease
    • Inflammation of the heart, brain, muscle tissues, and multi-organ failure

    70%–90% of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalisations occur in people aged 65 and older.

    RECOMMENDATIONS:8
    The Ministry of Health of Singapore established the National Adult Immunisation Schedule on 1 November 2017 which includes influenza* vaccination.The recommended population groups are:
    • Persons aged 65 years or older
    • Persons aged 18 years and receiving long-term aspirin therapy
    • Persons who have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, asthma, and heart disease
    • Persons who are immunocompromised
    • Persons receiving intermediate and long term care services
    • Women at all stages of pregnancy
    *Also recommended for specific groups of children, including those with medical conditions or immunocompromised or with other rare conditions.
  • PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE
    pneumococal disease
    DISEASE:9
    Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    TRANSMISSION:10
    Pneumococcal bacteria spread from person to person by direct contact with respiratory secretions, like saliva or mucus.

    SYMPTOMS:11
    The symptoms vary depending on the site of infection.

    PNEUMONIA:
    • Fever and chills
    • Cough
    • Rapid or difficulty breathing
    • Chest pain

    Older adults with pneumococcal pneumonia may experience confusion or low alertness, rather than the more common symptoms listed above.

    MENINGITIS:
    • Fever
    • Stiff neck
    • Confusion
    • Photophobia (visual sensitivity to light)

    BACTEREMIA:
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Low alertness

    POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS:11
    Pneumococcal disease can lead to serious infections of:
    • The lungs (pneumonia)
    • The blood (bacteremia/sepsis)
    • The lining of the brain (meningitis)

    Doctors consider some pneumococcal infections to be “invasive.” Invasive disease means that germs invade parts of the body that are normally free from germs.

    Most pneumococcal infections are mild. However, some can be deadly or result in long-term problems, such as brain damage or hearing loss.

    RECOMMENDATIONS:8
    The Ministry of Health of Singapore established the National Adult Immunisation Schedule on 1 November 2017 which includes pneumococcal* vaccination. The recommended population groups are:
    • Persons aged 65 years or older
    • Persons aged 18 years and older with chronic illnesses such as chronic lung, heart, kidney or liver diseases and diabetes mellitus
    • Persons who are immunocompromised or with other medical conditions such as persons with cochlear implants, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, anatomic or functional asplenia
    *Also included in the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS)

Related links



References:
  1. CDC. Vaccine Information for Adults. What Vaccines are Recommended for you. Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  2. CDC. AboutFlu.Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  3. CDC. Types of Influenza Viruses. Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  4. CDC. How Flu Spreads. Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  5. WHO. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Influenza seasonality and vaccination timing in tropical and subtropical areas of southern and south-eastern Asia. Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  6. CDC. Flu Symptoms & Complications. Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  7. CDC. Who is at High Risk from Flu. People 65 Years and Older & Influenza. Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  8. Ministry of Health Singapore. National Adult Immunisation Schedule. Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  9. CDC. Pneumococcal Disease. About Pneumococcal Disease. Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  10. CDC. Pneumococcal Disease. Risk Factors and Transmission. Available at here. Last accessed August 2019.
  11. CDC. Pneumococcal Disease. Symptoms and Complications. Available at here. Last accessed Aug 2019.