Vaccines 101 for 2023
As September is winding down and Spinal Cord Injury Awareness continues all year, I feel the need to
finish up with the PSA articles. This one is on the vaccines we should all be considering. I realize the controversy, "to get the jab or not get the jab," and I am not here to debate that one. That's your own decision but I am here to let you know the vaccines available to us now. Being spinal cord injured (SCI), we are susceptible to viruses somewhat more than others. And don't forget about the difficulty in clearing our respiratory systems.
This is a list of vaccines to consider going into cold, flu, COVID-19, and RSV season. All of this info comes directly from the CDC website and sites are included in the references. I am here to share this important info.
FLU vaccine. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Some people, such as people 65 years and older, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk of serious flu complications. There are two main types of influenza (flu) viruses: types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.
COVID-19 vaccine or booster COVID-19 most often causes respiratory symptoms that can feel much like a cold, the flu, or pneumonia. COVID-19 may attack more than your lungs and respiratory system. Other parts of your body may also be affected by the disease. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people become severely ill.
RSV vaccine We have heard of children getting RSV but recently studies are looking at older adults when they have been subjected to the RSV virus and what happens. When an adult gets an RSV infection, they typically have mild cold-like symptoms, but adversity occurs when a lung infection or pneumonia develops. RSV can sometimes also lead to worsening of serious conditions such as: Asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or CHF (Congestive Heart Failure).
PNEUMONIA vaccine Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and respiratory system that typically starts with a slight cough. As symptoms persist, a person may develop a high fever and have difficulty breathing. Most of the time, if a person develops pneumonia they will be treated with some antibiotics and possibly some steroids, and the symptoms will go away in just a few weeks. CDC recommends routine administration of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV15 or PCV20) for all adults 65 years or older who have never received any pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or whose previous vaccination history is unknown.
Going into cold and flu season, we should all consider the Flu vaccine, RSV vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine, and Pneumonia vaccine, and don't forget about the Shingles vaccine or the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) too. According to health articles I've read, COVID and Flu vaccines can be administered at the same time, although the RSV vaccine should be administered at least 2 weeks after the aforementioned. Most preventative vaccines are cost-free with Medicare, although always verify before obtaining any.
Discuss all vaccine options with your healthcare provider. Let’s all roll into the cold and flu season with our best health ever by being informed and prepared.
It’s all good, so keep on rollin’.
Patty, BSN, RN
The Rollin’ RN ™