August is National Immunization Awareness Month, an opportunity to promote the importance of immunizations for people of all ages – especially for seniors who are more likely to suffer serious impacts from respiratory viruses.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian seniors were especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus with a large proportion of illness and deaths occurring among elders. But with the introduction of vaccines, the picture changed dramatically. As the virus evolved into more infectious forms like the Omicron variant, vaccine boosters and new vaccine formulations gave a much higher level of protection in saving thousands of lives.
Other viruses include influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), with newer vaccines now extending protection from these pathogens. The high-dose flu vaccine is recommended for those over 65, as the higher level of antigen contained in this vaccine stimulates the immune system to a greater degree.
While August is a time for enjoying the great outdoors, it’s also a good time to start thinking about getting your vaccines this fall so you can ensure the best protection for yourself against respiratory viruses.