As a caregiver, I started to think about how my health (or poor health) would impact my parents. I didn’t want to be the one to bring the flu to them, so made sure I got annual flu shots. I avoided the shots for years thinking that having a dead virus shot into my arm sounded kinda gross … it still does, but know I know the value of avoiding the flu for myself and others.
In my role as a Daily Money Manager, I research varied ways to save my clients money—from simple things like reviewing phone and cable plans to bigger issues like refinancing and downsizing options.
At a training workshop, I learned that the lack of vaccinations is estimated to cost the American people $15.3 billion. It never dawned on me how much money NOT getting a flu shot costs me either directly on medication and doctor visits, or indirectly through lost wages and discomfort.
In addition to the flu vaccine, three other vaccinations. Some are recommended for adults over 60, but for many it may be a good idea to get it early.
Ask your doctor about these vaccines for those you are caring for, but they might also benefit you and I hope you will discuss them with your doctor.
- Shingles or herpes zoster vaccine — if you know anyone who has developed shingles, you know how debilitating it can be. The healthcare cost of treating shingles is estimated at $1 billion a year. There are more than one on the market now and they are hard to get. Get on a waitlist if they are out at either your doctors or a local drug store.
- Tdap — while many of us with kids still in the household are familiar with this vaccination, only 16% of adults over 65 have gotten it. My son received the vaccination that includes vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis but did contract whooping cough. It was awful in a 13-year-old, but apparently, it’s even more devastating for adults. Next time you need a tetanus shot, ask if you can get Tdap instead.
- Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23 for the prevention of pneumonia, which kills more annually than any of the others mentioned.
The annual flu shot is now a household habit and the I’ve already discussed the other vaccinations with my primary care physician. Completed.