October News Letter
Given the annual Autumn drive for Flu Vaccines, I have included an updated recommendation on all vaccines. In particular, there is a new vaccine for RSV for adults. In the past, RSV seems to just affect children, and it was assumed that adults had developed immunity. Now with a readily available RSV nasal swab test, we have found that many previously undiagnosed viral pneumonias are RSV pneumonias, and there is about a 6-8% change to elderly patient mortality from that, so I do recommend the new RSV vaccine for everyone over 65 y/o.
As we get older, our immune systems tend to weaken over time, putting us at higher risk for certain diseases. All adults ages 65 and older should make sure they’re up to date on these vaccines:
- COVID-19 vaccine:: Not really sure yet on data
- Flu vaccine (influenza): annually
- Pneumococcal vaccine: once after 65 y/o, see below.
- Shingles vaccine (zoster): once, but a two stage vaccine.
- Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough) or Td (tetanus and diphtheria): every ten years.
- RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) – adults aged 60 years or older should get a single dose of RSV vaccine. This is the newest vaccine that most people will need.
- Adults over 65 years old who have never received a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine should receive PCV20.
- Adults 65 years or older should get PCV20 if they have already received PCV13 or PPSV23 (but not PCV15 or PCV20)
Safety: Pneumococcal vaccines are safe but side effects can occur. Most people who get a pneumococcal vaccine do not have any serious problems with it. However, side effects can occur. Most side effects are mild, meaning they do not affect daily activities
As you may know there is more covid around again. It seems to be mostly due to all the massive increase in travel this summer and fall. It is generally mild, with minimal respiratory issues. More of a week of significant fever, cough, and malaise. But the cough may linger for another week or two with fatigue. It is occurring in vaccinated and unvaccinated, and reports vary on who is more likely to get it. And the current booster has not been fully studied against the current Covid version. Therefore I cannot make a clear recommendation on wether to get it or not at this time. Fortunately almost everyone fully recovers, even more than 2 years ago.
We now have the ability to do a nasal swab PCR for Covid, Flu, and RSV. We get results in 36 hours and is very reliable. Please call the office to schedule and we will come to you in the parking lot. M-TH 10am to 4pm 843-681-9300
Weekly aerobic exercise may help reduce flu and pneumonia deathsIn the journals: September 1, 2023By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
Flu season runs from October through April. Getting the annual flu vaccine when it is available (usually in late September) can offer protection. In addition, doing enough aerobic exercise may help reduce the risk of dying from flu or pneumonia, according to a study published online May 16, 2023, by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Guidelines advise people to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Researchers examined exercise data collected from 577,909 adults from 1998 to 2018 who were followed for an average of nine years. They found that people who met the recommendation were 36% less likely to die from pneumonia or influenza than those who did not exercise. For people who exercised 301 to 600 minutes per week, the risk was cut in half.
However, there was no extra protection from doing more than 600 minutes. The researchers speculated that the benefit came from aerobic exercise helping to strengthen the body's immune response.
Our goal is to help keep you updated on our practice in particular, as well as medical news that affects you in general and to distill down the confusing, but important information, to a useful and brief explanation to you. We will pick a few topics each month based on feedback each of you provide.
We would like to thank you for putting your trust in our practice as your healthcare provider. Our goal is to keep you healthy while providing excellent and personal health care.