By Portia Williams
WHEELERSBURG — As a part of their monthly forum events, Best Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center invited family and friends of their residents to acquire useful information while enjoying a meal. The event was held in the center’s main dining room, and featured guest speaker Tracey Henderson, RN and Public Health Nurse of the Scioto County Health Department (SHD).
Henderson was emphatic about her message that vaccinations transcend the age of the individual.
“A lot of adults are under the impression that once you get out of those childhood years, you’ve had all of your shots as a kid, and they’re going to last forever and you don’t ever need to get them again,” Henderson said. “What I am here to tell you today that, that is not true. There are some immunizations that adults need in order to stay healthy.”
With flu season fast approaching, people should be thinking about getting the vaccination.
“It is late August and flu season is right around the corner. It is recommended that everyone over the age of six months have a flu shot every Fall, so now is the time to start thinking about that,” she said. “As we get older, it becomes increasingly important that we get the flu shot, because complications from the flu can get more serious as you get older.”
According to Henderson, the Center for Disease Control recommends that adults over the age of 50 get the flu vaccination. She said there is a higher dosage for the flu shot which is available for adults age 65 and older.
“For those of you here that are age 65 or older it is recommended that you get the high dose vaccine. What they have found is that people 65 and older respond better, they build up more antibodies that help protect more against the flu if they get a higher dose of the flu shot,” she said.
In addition to the flu vaccine, Henderson also discussed the tetanus with pertussis/whooping cough (TDAP) vaccine, the shingles vaccine, and the pneumonia vaccine.
She said she was glad to have the opportunity to speak to the group about information vital to public health.
“I came here to talk to these folks about adult vaccines. The take-home message with that is that it doesn’t matter how old you are, as adults there are probably vaccines that you need, so we urge you to talk to your doctor. Some of the ones that we specifically talk to your doctor about are the flu shot, and everyone should get one every year. The TDAP Vvaccine, which is tetanus with pertussis/whooping cough, the shingles vaccine, and the pneumonia vaccine,” Henderson said.
According to Henderson, additional information regarding the specified vaccines should be acquired from a physician.
“There are lots of specific details that go along these vaccines, so we urge you to talk to your doctor or call us at the health department and we’ll help you figure it out,” she said.
With local school districts returning back to school, she said the SHD is presently distributing many vaccines to school-aged children, but anticipates a shifting of the focus to Flu shots soon.
“This time of year we do a lot of school shots for incoming kindergartners and seventh-graders. So, probably, in a couple of weeks we will start getting calls about the flu shot,” she said.
Flu shots will not be available for distribution to the public for at least three weeks, according to Henderson. For more information regarding the flu and other immunizations, contact the Scioto County Health Department at 740-354-3241.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-370-0712 or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.