Why Your Elderly Parent Should Get a COVID Vaccination

We do seem to be through the worst of what was the COVID-19 pandemic. Life has returned to a generally normal status in most places in the United States. Despite being politicized, there is medical evidence that supports the fact that COVID-19 vaccines have done two things:

  • Vaccinations have protected people from serious illness and even death
  • Vaccinations have contributed significantly slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, bringing the pandemic to an end

With these points noted, there remain some older individuals who have not yet received even one COVID vaccinations. There are a number of reasons why some senior citizens have not taken one COVID vaccination, let alone the complete series of shots now recommended for people over the age of 65.

If you are an adult child of a parent in their Golden Years, there are some important reasons why your mother or father should get the recommended series of COVID-19 vaccinations. We discuss these reasons in this article and do so with no intent take a political stand.

The primary reasons why an older person, an individual over the age of 65, is well-served taking the recommended series of COVID vaccinations:

  • Protect your parent from serious illness or even death
  • Protect others around your parent from contracting COVID
  • Meeting requirements of an assisted living community 

Protect Your Parent From Serious Illness or Death

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed a spectrum of benefits that can be derived from an older person obtaining a COVID vaccination. Top on the list is the fact that the COVID vaccine lessens the risk that an older individual will suffer serious illness or death if that person contracts coronavirus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has highlighted other benefits for an older person when it comes to taking the COVID vaccine as recommended:

  • COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are safe and are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying.
  • Getting children and teens vaccinated against COVID-19 can help keep them from getting very sick if they do get COVID-19.
  • Vaccinating children can also help relieve the strain on families by providing greater confidence in children participating in childcare, school, and other activities.
  • COVID-19 vaccines can offer added protection to people who had COVID-19, including protection against being hospitalized from a new infection, especially as variants continue to emerge.
  • As with vaccines for other diseases, people are protected best when they stay up to date with the recommended number of doses and boosters, when eligible.

Protect Others Around Your Parent 

Another reason why your parent should obtain a COVID vaccination is to protect other people. By getting vaccinated, you parent will lower the risk of infection and, in turn, reduce the risk of spreading the disease to other individuals. 

Meeting Requirements of Assisted Living Community

If you are the adult child of an older parent who is having challenges dealing with activities of daily living, the time may have arrived for your mother or father to transition to a different residential environment. Specifically, the time may have arrived for your parent to consider moving to an assisted living community.

If there is discussion about your parent moving to an assisted living community, you need to understand that a requirement of residing in such a center will be for your mother or father to obtain required COVID vaccinations. 

Assisted living communities have the legal ability to require their residents to be vaccinated against COVID. If your mother or father is going to move into an assisted living community, your parent will need to provide documentation demonstrating that the vaccine has been administered as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Side Effects of COVID Vaccine in Older Individuals

The AARP has gathered data on potential side effects associated with the different COVID vaccines utilized in the United States. In conclusion, we present basic information about possible side effects of the COVID vaccination. 

Side effects in adults 65+ after Moderna vaccine (second dose):

  • Pain at injection site (83.4%)
  • Fatigue (58.4%)
  • Headache (46.4%)
  • Muscle pain (46.9%)
  • Joint pain (34.9%)
  • Chills (30.6%)
  • Nausea/vomiting (11.8%) and fever (10.2%) were also reported.
  • Side effects in adults 65+ after Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (second dose):
  • Pain at injection site (66.1%)
  • Fatigue (50.5%)
  • Headache (39.0%)
  • Muscle pain (28.7%)
  • Chills (22.7%)
  • Joint pain (18.9%)
  • Fever (10.9%), diarrhea (8.3%) and vomiting (0.7%) were also reported.

Side effects in adults 60+ after Johnson & Johnson vaccine: 

  • Pain at injection site (33.3%)
  • Headache (30.4%)
  • Fatigue (29.7%)
  • Muscle pain (24.0%)
  • Nausea (12.3%)
  • Fever (3.1%)

If you are finding it difficult to convince your parent to obtain a COVID vaccination, consider reaching out to someone your mother or father trusts like your mother or father’s physician, spiritual leader, or someone else that he or she has a considerable amount of confidence.