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Are vaccines safe for an Alzheimer's patient?

Mom has mid-stage Alzheimer's and her doctor wants her to get a shingles booster shot, the mmr booster shot and a flu shot. Is this safe? Is it a good idea or not worth the trouble?
Status: Open    May 28, 2015 - 12:27 AM

Senior Health & Nutrition, Dementia

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2 answers

Expert Answers

Dec 08, 2015 - 08:26 AM

There is no link between vaccines and Alzheimer’s disease – they don’t cause it and they don’t make it worse. What’s more, vaccines are very important for older people, to protect them against diseases that could be very serious and even life-threatening. These include the flu, shingles, measles, mumps and rubella, all of which are covered by the vaccines your mom’s doctor is recommending.

Older people are more at risk for complications from the flu than younger people are, which is why it’s important to protect them from it. Scientific studies of the influenza (flu) vaccines have shown that they can be very effective in decreasing both hospitalization for influenza, and also death from the influenza virus.

Shingles is a very painful condition brought about by the re-activation of the varicella virus, which is present in the body of anyone who has already had the chicken pox. Besides being extremely painful, shingles can cause vision loss, neurological problems and skin infections among other complications.

Finally, MMR protects people against measles, mumps and rubella. Ensuring that everyone is properly protected against these diseases is a public health issue, and like shingles and the flu, they can cause serious complications and even death in compromised populations such as the elderly, who often have weakened immune systems and other existing conditions.


Jul 13, 2015 - 04:06 PM

I made the decision to have my husband get the shingles shot and the flu shot.
At the time he was attending Adult Day care in a facitlity that was/is a Memory Care facility.
My logic was he is in contact with a lot of people, or they were in contact with him and I did not want to run the risk of him getting the flu or shingles.
It is difficult enough day to day dealing with incontenance without having to deal with the problems that may arise with the flu. As far as the shingles I did not want to have to have him deal with the pain and itching of shingles.
He is now at home 99% of the time but I will still keep current with the flu shot and the shingles booster when needed. I go out and a caregiver comes in as well as a nurse and a CNA each of these people could possible bring in a virus that could adversely effect my husband. The people that come in are not here 24/7 I am the one that would have to deal with an illness. If I can have him immunized to reduce the possibility that he will beocme ill I will do it. I also can not afford for me to become ill while careing for him.
So if we are taking votes.....
So I guess I am in the Yes it is worth it group.
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