If you’re over 65, the Government recommends that you have a seasonal ‘flu jab. ‘Flu can develop into pneumonia, which can be serious. It takes up to ten days for the vaccine to take effect, so it’s best to have it early on in the winter.
The ‘pneumo’ (or pneumococcal) jab is a one-off jab that helps protect you against pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia. Ask your GP about it if you’re over 65 and haven’t had one.
As we get older, our immune systems become slightly less effective at protecting us from disease. This means that we become more prone to catching infections, and once we catch an infection we can take longer to recover.
Also, we may lose some of our immunity to diseases we were vaccinated against in childhood. And some infectious diseases, such as the ‘flu, can make us much sicker than they used to when we were younger, and can even lead to life-threatening complications.
The best way of protecting yourself from serious infections is to be vaccinated against them. Booster vaccinations against tetanus and diphtheria are also recommended for older people.