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Flu shots are recommended now for everyone. Patient's over 65 should receive the high dose type. There are no significant side effects. The vaccination cannot cause the flu. Most insurance and Medicare covers this.
There are now 2 vaccinations for the most common type of pneumonia. Everyone over 65 should receive these. The original vaccination is called Pneumovax 23. The new type is called Prevnar 13. These are given one year apart. Medicare covers these.
Everyone should receive a tetanus shot every 10 years. This vaccination has contained protection against diphtheria for many years. This combination is called Td. Pertussis (whooping cough) has recently become a major concern so protection against this has now been added to tetanus and it is called TDaP. Insurance may cover this but Medicare does not.
This is recommended for everyone over 50 years old. Shingles is very painful and sometimes this pain can linger for months. Occasionally shingles causes permanent injury. The vaccination (Zostavax) prevents most cases. A new vaccine called Shingrix was recently approved. The severity of the disease is reduced in patients who have had the vaccination. Some insurance covers this but Medicare does not.