Why it is so important for Veterans and their families to get their flu shot and other vaccines

Time for your flu shot


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Time for our annual Get Your Flu Shot reminders!

Actually, more than just your flu shot. Are you up to date on all the vaccines you should have?

All Veterans and their families should get recommended vaccines to protect their health. Even healthy adults can become ill and pass diseases on to others. Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed by a health care professional.

Find out which immunizations are recommended for you.

Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person’s age, occupation or health conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes or heart disease).

Vaccination is important because it protects the person getting the vaccine and helps prevent the spread of disease.

Seniors and others at high risk for flu complications

All Veterans should get an influenza (flu) vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu. Some people are at high risk of serious flu complications, and it is especially important that they get vaccinated. This includes older adults (65 and older), children younger than 5, pregnant women and people with certain long-term medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes.

Adults 50 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. Adults 65 and older are also recommended to receive both pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations. 

A bottle of flu vaccine

Fall is the time for flu shots. Flu Season.

Why do adults need vaccines?

All adults need vaccinations to protect against serious diseases that could result in severe illness requiring medical treatment or even hospitalization, missed work and not being able to care for family. Vaccines are recommended throughout your life. Even if you were fully vaccinated as a child, you may be at risk for other diseases due to your age, job, lifestyle, travel or health condition. In addition, the protection from some vaccines can wear off over time.

Millions of cases of flu every year

Every year, thousands of adults in the U.S. experience serious health problems, are hospitalized and even die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. Many of these diseases are common in the U.S. For example, in 2015, there were about 27,000 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease and 3,300 deaths among adults ages 18 and older. In addition, about 1 million cases of shingles and millions of cases of flu occur each year in the U.S.

National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Communities across the country use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases across the lifespan.

Author

Hans Petersen

Hans Petersen is senior writer-editor for Digital Media, VHA Office of Communications. An Air Force Veteran, Hans also served two years in the Peace Corps and worked for 20 years in broadcasting before joining VA.

Comments

  1. John A Warth    

    Thank your for your reminder, my wife and I ALWAYS take advantage of all annual shots necessary. As a result, both of us are in good health (now in our late 8o’s). This is not to say we do not have seasonal colds (sinus) but nothing over the years, such as pneumonia ( we have always had shots as needed).
    I am a Navy Veteran ( 8 years, Korean Vet., discharged 1958 E-4) happy to serve

    John

  2. Paul Wiley French    

    Does this mean that my VA provider in San Antonio, TX. is suppose to have the Shingrix vaccination already for veterans who is at least 50 years old? I have been receiving problems with getting the vaccination from my provider. What can I do? Is there a specific number I can call with this problem? I appreciate your help in this matter. Thank you.

  3. Marvin Bihn    

    I am a 25 year Army retiree. I have read several sources stating the importance of getting the Shingles vaccine. VA in this state of NH states they do not have the vaccine and do not know when they will give the shots. The local VA seems to know nothing about it. Our local civilian hospital states they do not give the shot because Medicare does not support it. They recommended WalMart which stated they do not have the vaccine. If it is so important, where does one go to try to receive this vaccination? Can it be so important if it seems to be unavailable in this state?

  4. Leon Suchorski    

    I had two appointments at Ann ARBOR in August, and saw no postings of notification of there being flu shots going on.on either time I WAS THERE.. The VA seems to be like the proverbial chicken who runs around without it’s head trying to convince the vets that it knows what is going on, and it knows not.

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