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Wolf Administration Reminds Older Adults about the Importance of Immunizations, COVID-19 Boosters

11/09/2021

Harrisburg, PA – With a combined flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster clinic in Bucks County as the backdrop, the Pennsylvania Departments of Aging and Health today stressed the importance of older adults getting their immunizations, particularly with the cold and flu season approaching and the ongoing threat of COVID-19 variants – including the highly transmissible Delta variant.

"We want to encourage all older Pennsylvanians to take advantage of vaccination options in their local community, including their health care provider, pharmacy, or clinics like this one at the Bristol Township Senior Center. It is an easy and convenient way for older adults to get both of these important vaccinations off of their to-do list," said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres.

Torres further noted that a vaccine's protection can decrease as seniors age, making them vulnerable to sickness and disease.  He also emphasized the importance for older adults with chronic health conditions like 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; and
  • 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.

"During the fall season, we enter into another flu season coupled with battling the COVID-19 virus at the same time," Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. "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. 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 visit www.vaccines.gov.
  • 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, visit the Department of Aging's website here.
  • Learn more about the various other programs offered by the Department of Aging here.

Note: Photos and video from the event will be available at PACast.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jack Eilber, Aging - agingcomms@pa.gov
                                Mark O'Neill, Health – ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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