Vaccination for seniors aged 65 years or over is just as important as it is for children. The vaccines you need will depend on several things, including whether you missed out on childhood vaccines, if you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, how old you are and whether you plan on travelling. Speak to your doctor or vaccination provider about your or your family’s specific needs. Some recommended vaccines are funded through the National Immunisation Program (NIP) or state and territory programs, while others can be purchased privately with a prescription.
The following vaccines are recommended to adults who are aged 65 years and older.
Shingles: The shingles vaccine is recommended for adults aged 60 years or older who have not previously been vaccinated. The vaccine is free through the NIP for people aged 70 years with a catch-up for people aged 71 to 79 years until October 2021.
Pneumococcal disease: The pneumococcal vaccine is free through the NIP for adults aged 65 years and older.
A booster is an extra dose of a vaccine that you have had before that ‘boosts’ the immune system. The following vaccinations need booster doses:
Tetanus: A booster dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine is recommended for adults who are aged 50 years old or over who have not received a vaccine that has tetanus in the past 10 years (but have previously completed a primary course of 3 doses); or who have tetanus-prone wounds (any wound that is not a clean, minor cut) if your previous dose was more than 5 years ago.
Whooping cough: A single booster dose of a whooping cough vaccine is recommended for adults who have not been vaccinated for the past 10 years if you are aged 65 years or older or you are in close contact with infants.