The winter holidays can cause people to feel depressed and even suicidal if they are single, widowed or without family or a good support system. Even a parent with grown chidlren can feel depressed and unhappy if the kids pay no attention to their mother or father. In addition to feelings of depression, medical problems increase in the winter months, especially flu and pneumonia. So it is very important that older people or those at risk for pulmonary problems, such as asthma, have a flu shot. Kids with chronic neuromuscular disorders such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy or spinal muscular atrophy are also at greater risk during the winter months. One of the things I found effective for my spinal muscular atrophy kids, who had frequent repiratory infections, was to start a single dose of penicillin or amoxicillin in October and continue it until the end of March. This changed both the kids and their parents' lives, I was often told. I did this based on a study of Eskimo children with frequent ear infections who received a daily antibiotic during the winter months. The number of ear infections decreased markedly, as did hearing loss caused by frequent ear infections.
Pneumonia injections are important for older adutls and these are said to last five years. Shingles in also a concern for older individuals, but this is a concern for not just the winter months, but all year. So it is better to be prepared for problems and get the necessary injections if you are a senior or have a chronic medical condition.