Vaccinations Recommended for Adults Over Age 70 blog post on

Vaccinations Recommended for Adults Over Age 70

What Vaccinations Are Usually Recommended for Adults Over 70?

Vaccinations play a vital role in maintaining health and preventing serious illnesses, especially as we age. For adults over 70, staying up to date with recommended vaccines is crucial to protect against diseases that can lead to severe complications. Here’s a short guide to the vaccinations typically recommended for older adults.

1. Influenza (Flu) Vaccine


  • The flu can lead to severe complications in older adults, including pneumonia and hospitalization.
  • Annual vaccination is necessary due to changing flu strains each year.


  • Type: Inactivated or recombinant flu vaccine.
  • Frequency: Annually, before the flu season (usually in the fall).

2. COVID-19 Vaccine


  • COVID-19 can cause severe respiratory illness, hospitalization, and death, particularly in older adults.
  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters is essential for ongoing protection.


  • Type: mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) are preferred.
  • Frequency: Initial series followed by booster doses as recommended by health authorities.

3. Pneumococcal Vaccines


  • Protects against pneumococcal diseases, including pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections, which can be particularly severe in older adults.


  • Types:
    • PCV20 (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine): Provides broader protection against 20 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
    • PPSV23 (Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine): Protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
  • Frequency: Typically, one dose of PCV20, sometimes followed by PPSV23 a year later, depending on medical history and prior vaccination status.

4. Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccine


  • Shingles can cause painful rashes and complications such as postherpetic neuralgia, which can be particularly debilitating for older adults.


  • Type: Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine).
  • Frequency: Two doses, given 2 to 6 months apart.

5. Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) Vaccine


  • Protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • Tetanus can enter the body through cuts or wounds, and diphtheria and pertussis can cause severe respiratory issues.


  • Type: Tdap booster.
  • Frequency: Every 10 years.

6. RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) Vaccine


  • RSV can cause severe respiratory infections, including bronchiolitis and pneumonia, particularly in older adults.


  • Type: RSV vaccine (under development and soon to be widely available).
  • Frequency: As recommended once available, likely annually similar to the flu vaccine.

Why Staying Up to Date with Vaccinations is Important

1. Prevent Severe Illness:

  • Vaccinations significantly reduce the risk of contracting severe illnesses that can lead to hospitalization and long-term complications.

2. Maintain Independence:

  • Preventing diseases helps older adults stay healthy and independent, supporting their ability to age in place.

3. Reduce Healthcare Costs:

  • Vaccines can help avoid costly medical treatments and hospital stays by preventing diseases.

4. Protect Community Health:

  • Staying vaccinated helps protect those around you, including family members, friends, and caregivers, by reducing the spread of infectious diseases.


For adults over 70, staying current with vaccinations is a critical component of preventive healthcare. Annual flu vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, pneumococcal vaccines, shingles vaccines, Tdap boosters, and the upcoming RSV vaccine all play vital roles in maintaining health and preventing serious illnesses. For more on vaccines for older adults check out the resources at the National Institute on Aging.

In my practice, I have seen how these vaccinations help older adults remain healthy, active, and independent. For personalized advice and to ensure you are up to date with your vaccinations, consult with your healthcare provider. And for more on aging in place check out

Taking proactive steps with your vaccinations will help you enjoy a healthier, more independent life as you age in place. Stay protected and prioritize your well-being.

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Brandy Archie, OTD, OTR/L, CLIPP

Dr. Archie received her doctorate in occupational therapy from Creighton University. She is a certified Living in Place Professional with past certifications in low vision therapy, brain injury and driving rehabilitation.  Dr. Archie has over 15 years of experience in home health and elder focused practice settings which led her to start AskSAMIE, a curated marketplace to make aging in place possible for anyone, anywhere! Answer some questions about the problems the person is having and then a personalized cart of adaptive equipment and resources is provided.

She's a wife, mother of 3 and a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan! Connect with her on Linked In or by email anytime.

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