The vaccinations they are a fundamental tool for the prevention of important pathologies – and also mortality – especially in the elderly and frail persons. Anyway, you
One in four people over 65 has insufficient information about vaccines against flu, anti-Covid and against Herpes zoster
(shingles), although they are their own elderly and “vulnerable” subjects being me more susceptible to infections. This is according to a survey conducted in March by Senior Italia FederAnziani among a sample of about 1,400 people “over 65s”, to examine the perceptions of the elderly population regarding vaccinations that prevent flu, pneumococcal infections or fire. Sant’Antonio. The survey was presented on the occasion of the meeting “Investing in the future: vaccine prevention as a driver for health, well-being and sustainability” held at the Ministry of Health, promoted by Adnkronos with Senior Italia Federanziani, Federsanità, Anci and conducted in collaboration with FB&Associati and with the unconditional contribution of Gsk.
We need more information
According to the survey, about one in three respondents knows about these vaccines thanks to their doctor while more than 2 percent of the sample are completely unaware of its existence. Almost 80 percent of the interviewees stated that they were aware of the free access to administer some vaccines for adults and the elderly, but 15.3 percent received little information, while 4.4 percent said they had never heard of it.
«The survey shows a good level of general knowledge, but there are still some unmet needs – says Roberto Messina, Senior President of Italy Federanziani–. The elderly want read more about the vaccines they are entitled to for freebut above all they want to be able to, for example,are vaccinated in general practitioners’ offices, also because not all elderly people live near vaccination centers and because healthcare providers are far away, they do not have access to these prevention tools. My call is: vaccinate, inform and make life easier for all elderly people, especially those who live in small towns.”
The recommended (and free) vaccinations for the elderly
But what are the vaccinations recommended for the elderly and offered free by the National Health Service?
For people 65 and older, regardless of the presence of certain risk situations, they are recommended and free:
over there Flu vaccination to reduce complications, hospitalizations and deaths from this infection, which must be repeated every year (during October-December);
– the herpes zoster vaccination (
“shingles”) which can reduce cases of postherpetic neuralgia (one of the most common and debilitating complications of the disease) by about 65 percent and about 50 percent of all clinical cases of zoster;
– the pneumococcal vaccination which can be done simultaneously with the flu vaccine or independently, in every season of the yearand is administered only once in life, in two doses, according to current indications.
«It is not easy to get the older segments of the population to vaccinate – said the Ministry of Health’s Director-General for Prevention, Gianni Rezza -. The main problem for the elderly is the so-calledT
cursed riad” consisting of flu, pneumococcus and herpes Zoster». For vaccination anti-flu, in the first year of the pandemic, there was an “increase in the number of people vaccinated and for the first time, the elderly have achieved significant coverage; after that, however, we also witnessed a collapse in anti-flu vaccination coverage – Rezza explained –. As for me pneumococcal and herpes zoster vaccines we know that for the former it is not particularly bad, while for the anti-herpes Zoster the coverage is wholly inadequate. It is true that the well-known “shingles” is not a fatal pathology and the risk perception is low, but it is a very annoying disease that needs to be addressed in some way to increase coverage and encourage citizens to get vaccinated, of course on a voluntary basis. And it is possible to do this by involving more general practitioners, but also the specialists who treat elderly, frail and immunosuppressed patients,” concludes Rezza.
I am Barbara Redford, a professional journalist and writer with extensive experience in news reporting. I have been writing for The News Dept since 2019, covering topics related to health and wellness. My passion is to keep people informed about the latest developments in healthcare and the medical industry. With my articles, I strive to create awareness on various diseases while also highlighting their remedies or treatments.
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