As COVID roars back and as winter approaches, there are increasing warnings about a major COVID outbreak. But after three years of culture wars against the COVID vaccine, the idea of getting another COVID booster and a flu shot is losing some relevance among major proportions of our population. But new research has provided yet one more reason for staying on top of all your vaccinations as they might decrease the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Paul Schulz, MD, Director of the Neurocognitive Disorders Center at the University of Texas*, states “that there is also the potential fringe benefit of vaccinations in that it might reduce the risk of Alzheimer's”.
In recent years, Dr Schulz’s studies* have found that those who get vaccinated for the flu, COVID 19, shingles and pneumonia, appear less likely than their unvaccinated counterparts to get dementia. Two study groups of 935,887 from a national database -one vaccinated against the flu, the other unvaccinated, were followed for up to 8 years. Dr. Schulz and his colleagues found that patients who received at least one flu vaccine during the follow up period of four years were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared with those who did not get the vaccine. Additional analysis found that those who received an annual flu shot had the lowest rate of the disease. “The more vaccinations you got, the better, Dr Schulz said”.
Dr. William Schaffner, M.D. Professor of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, stated “that although this research is still in the early stages, the data are clear that vaccines help prevent influenza, COVID, pneumonia, shingles and so forth”. As he observed, “Disease bad, Vaccines good”.*
Virologist, Dr Robert Schooley of the University of California, agrees, saying, “One thing is for certain: Whether or not this observation is real, staying up to date with vaccinations for influenza and other infectious diseases as we age, is a good idea” *
*AARP Bulletin, October 2023
The author of this blog is Doug Feltman. Doug has been in the field of senior healthcare for many years. He is president of HomeHelpersHomeCare of Sothern Bergen County. He is an advocate for the dementia community going above and beyond to support and educate families who are caring for a loved one with a form of dementia. For more information contact Doug Feltman at 201-655-8688 or go to: https://www.homehelpershomecare.com/southernbergencounty