Screenings, Vaccinations and Disease Prevention for Older People: the Most Important Instructions 

Special Project Together with Pfizer

"Health of the Older People: How to Help and Care" 


Screenings, Vaccinations and Disease Prevention

for Older People: the Most Important Instructions

Special Project Together with Pfizer "Health of the Older People: How to Help and Care"
How can we help and care for older people so that they can live long years and feel themselves good? The new Manshuq article contains the most important information on preventive measures that will help prevent many health problems for "olders" and "oldesters".

February 5th, 2020

Mrs. Aliya Abdrakhmanova spends a lot of time in state clinics. Nothing irregular – she is 75! It is difficult to be an absolutely healthy person of such age and live calmly without need for constant medical supervision. But, it should be noted that Mrs. Abdrakhmanova carefully monitors her health: she regularly goes through all the necessary screenings, diligently complies with all the doctor's prescriptions, takes vitamins and tries to control her nutrition. Her main problems are sore joints and pressure. Her knees began bother her after several injuries and fractures. Now she has to move with the help of crutches. No move is the worse. Therefore, doctors recommended her mandatory activities: walks in the fresh air in winter season, work in a summer cottage in summer season. It became easier after surgical treatment, although the pain did not go away at all. It's all the more difficult with pressure since it is impossible to treat it, doctors say that it's age. That is why Mrs. Abdrakhmanova regularly visits therapist in the clinic and constantly monitors her condition - at least daily checks her pressure.

Not everyone can boast of such an attentive attitude to their health. Therefore, we decided to create a kind of guidebook dedicated to the issues that are important when it comes to the health of older people. Attention to the health of loved ones is a great help that the elderly need. 

Attention to the health of loved ones is a great help that the elderly need.

Age and Immunity

Close to old age, our immune system begins to fade. This is directly related to elderly diseases: luck of generation of new protective cells, existing ones are not updated. These leads to reducing of protective functions in the body, especially in elderlies. Also, susceptibility to infections increases, the healing process slows down. Plus, protective functions are weakened against the background of chronic diseases that are observed in every second elderly person.

That is why geriatricians - doctors specializing in the treatment of the elderlies - pay special attention to the need for immunization of older people, even despite the vaccinations that were given earlier and the infectious diseases faced before. 


UN experts classify Kazakhstan as a country with accelerated rates of aging and predict that by 2050 the number of elderly people in Kazakhstan will increase up to 2,5 times.

Vaccination Schedule for the Elderlies

Vaccination against Flu

Seasonal flu is a leading cause of death from a disease that could have been prevented by vaccination. Every year, one billion people become infected with the flu, 500 million of them die from its complicated form. That is why the flu vaccination is recommended for people of 65 and older. Vaccinating the elderlies against flu reduces mortality level by up to 50% - this is the most effective way to prevent the flu and its complications.

Important to know:

A flu vaccination should be taken every year (fall season): firstly, its effectiveness is gradually weakening, and secondly, the composition of the vaccine changes annually in accordance with influenza viruses, which are projected to be dangerous.

Sometimes people become infected with the flu, even if they have been vaccinated, but in this case, the disease proceeds in a light form. 

Vaccination against Pneumococcus

Pneumococcus is a common bacterium that causes pneumonia, meningitis, and blood poisoning (bacteremia, sepsis). People aged 65 and over are at increased risk of suffering from these diseases.

Important to know:

Vaccination is also important because some types of pneumococcus are resistant to antibiotics. 

According to the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases (USA), more than 400,000 people are hospitalizing annually in the United States with pneumococcal infection. And 4,000 people (mostly adults) die each year in the United States from Streptococcus Pneumonia Infection. That is why the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting Pneumococcal Vaccine for people of 65 or older, as well as all adults with certain risk factors.
Guzel Nizamova
General Practitioner, Medical Center Medical Park 
Pneumonia, including pneumococcal, is the leading infectious cause of death in children around the world. Nevertheless, this disease can cause serious complications for adults too.

Pneumococcal diseases caused by the bacterium Streptococcus Pneumoniae. Anyone can get pneumonia, but in a high-risk area - children under two years and adults over 65, as well as those with diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, weak cardiovascular system, and who have low immunity, plus smokers and alcohol addicted people.

For elderlies, pneumonia usually develops in conditions of anatomically altered lung tissue, impaired ventilation and perfusion, that is, with age, the strength of the contraction of the respiratory muscles and the elasticity of the lung tissue decreases. Plus, pneumonia in older people often proceeds against a background of concomitant diseases. Moreover, pneumonia has a poor clinical picture - it is difficult to diagnose it in a timely manner, and this, in turn, complicates the treatment and worsens the prognosis of the disease. 


Among elderly patients with pneumonia and background heart diseases (with exacerbation of the latter), 8,5% of cases end in the intensive care units.

We also notice another problem - an increase in the resistance of pneumococcus to antibiotics. This means that treatment of pneumococcal infection with antibiotics very often turns out to be ineffective.

The most highly effective way to influence the incidence and mortality from pneumococcal infections is, of course, vaccination. According to WHO, immunization prevents from two to three million deaths of people of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases. And vaccination of the elderly is one of the tools that helps to increase the life expectancy of patients and reduce mortality. 

Vaccination against Tetanus and Diphtheria

Tetanus is a bacterium that causes an infection with a great harm to the human nervous system. Vaccination against tetanus can neutralize the poison secreted by this bacterium. Almost all people affected by tetanus have either never been vaccinated with this disease or have not received booster vaccines in the last ten years. Therefore, it is recommended to be vaccinated against tetanus and diphtheria once every ten years (the vaccine contains immunity from tetanus and diphtheria).

Important to know:

Vaccination protects against these infections in almost 100% of cases. 

Before each vaccination:
— It is mandatory to have an examination with a doctor and appoint the vaccination schedule.

— Analyzes before vaccination are necessary only according to the doctor's prescriptions (for example, those who have immunodeficiency associated, for example, with the treatment of cancer).

— It is strictly forbidden to make any vaccination if a person has a high temperature. 

Vaccination does not provide one hundred percent protection against infection, but the likelihood of complications after the disease is close to zero.


If an elderly person has chronic diseases, vaccinations in this case are not only contraindicated, but directly recommended. 

Necessary Screening Examinations for Elderlies 

Screening is a preventive examination, the purpose of which is to identify a disease or a predisposition to it at an early stage and provide timely assistance.

Doctors assure that early diagnosis is the most effective way to fight the disease. Kazakhstani doctors have programs for the early diagnosis of dangerous diseases, including cancer.

Even if there are no symptoms, older people need to be tested for the following: 

mammary cancer
In Kazakhstan, a mammogram must be performed once every two years for all women from 40 years old. Screening is free at district clinics.
cervical cancer
Women of over 30 should perform regular screening for cervical cancer. Screening (a special smear for oncocytology is taken in special examination rooms) is carried out for free in district clinics. In 2019, more than one million women will undergo such screening in Kazakhstan.
prostate cancer
colon and rectal cancer
lung cancer
Screening for the early detection of circulatory system diseases: arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease
It is necessary to measure the pressure at the doctor once a year.
glaucoma screening
Screening is for men and women at 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70. Test for eye pressure.
osteoporosis screening
Recommended for women over 65. Tests for measuring bone density can detect osteoporosis before the disease can lead to fractures.
Prevention of Cardiovascular System Diseases
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Therefore, their prevention plays a huge role. It is important to identify and eliminate risk factors.
Inna Leshchinskaya-Popova
Cardiologist, Master of Medical Sciences,

Head of SBS Med Clinic 

Every person close to 60-70 accumulates a whole bunch of diseases. They appeared not in one day, not overnight - we have been "earning" them for years. Constant experiences, stress and poor nutrition, smoking and alcohol drinking lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases.

But it is in our competence to prevent and stop the development and progress of these diseases.

First of all, we need to monitor your blood pressure, weight, sugar (glucose) level in blood and cholesterol.

Measuring these four indicators does not require much effort. Regular monitoring can help prevent serious health problems.

Two other important aspects are body weight and smoking.

It is proved that a decrease in body weight by an average of 5 kg reduces the level of systolic (upper) pressure by 4 mm Hg, and diastolic (lower) - by 3.6 mm Hg, respectively. Normalization of weight will not only help stabilize pressure, but also reduce joint pain – it will be easier to the body to "carry" itself.

We can talk endlessly about the dangers of smoking. I cannot stress it enough that you should give up smoking at all. And do not talk about the pleasure of smoking a cigarette, stress and so on. Smoking cigarettes increases the blood pressure, "spoils" blood vessels plus causes an unpleasant odor. 

Illustration: Roman Zakharov

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