It’s true — we are living longer and many of us are staying healthier into later stages of life than our parents did. Older 21st century adults, however, are not necessarily less vulnerable to the opportunistic diseases that swiftly compromise an aging immune system. In this section are several questions on two VPD that hit older adults hard when they strike. Although shingles can strike anyone, it tends to be a geriatric disease. The cost of treating post-herpetic neuralgia as a consequence of shingles can be prohibitive in this group.The pain may be severe enough that opioids are prescribed in a population already plagued by polypharmacy and at high risk of falls. “Pneumonia is the old man’s friend,” once noted the venerable William Osler. Well, today we beg to differ. Baby Boomers live active productive lives and should be protected against pneumococcus and zoster with appropriate vaccines. Find out what you know about both.
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