Help your aging loved ones #FlightFlu: Adults 65 & Older Need a Flu Shot!
Flu season will be here before we know it. Now is the time to get your yearly flu shot if you haven’t done so already. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with the seasonal flu and spreading it to others. So make plans to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season begins!
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year by the end of October if possible.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu and its potentially serious complications. Millions of people have safely received flu vaccines for decades.
Influenza (the flu) is a serious illness, especially for older adults. Here is everything to know and do this flu season if you’re 65 years and older or caring for an elderly patient.
People 65 and older are at greater risk for serious flu-related complications.
Our immune systems weaken with age, thus making older adults more susceptible to serious, flu-related complications
Between 71% and 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 54% and 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in that age group.
Anyone 65 and older can get a flu shot that is approved for that age group.
This includes some traditional, regular-dose flu shots, recombinant flu shots and two other flu shots specifically designed for people 65 and older to promote a stronger immune response.
- A high dose flu vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose) contains 4 times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot. The additional antigen creates a stronger immune response.
- An adjuvanted vaccine (FLUAD) is standard dose flu vaccine with an added adjuvant. Adjuvant is an ingredient to help strengthen the immune response.
After getting a flu shot, you may experience some mild side effects. The most common side effects include soreness, tenderness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was given. Occasionally you may have a headache, muscle aches, fever and nausea or feel tired. The high dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines may result in more of the mild side effects.
The side effects of flu shots are mild when compared to the disease itself.
The flu can make long term medical conditions worse, even if they are well managed.
Diabetes, asthma, and chronic heart disease are among the most common long-term health problems that place people at high risk of serious flu complications. It is crucial for all adults with these or other chronic medical conditions to receive a flu vaccine every year.
If you experience flu symptoms (even if you got a flu shot), contact your doctor, nurse or clinic right away.
Doctors can prescribe medicine to treat the flu and lessen the chance of serious illness. People 65 and older should especially be treated with influenza antiviral prescription drugs if they get the flu. These medicines work better the sooner they are started.
You might have the flu and should call your health care provider if you have any or all of the following symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore Throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
Flu vaccines are often updated each season to keep up with changing viruses and immunity also declines over a year so annual vaccination is strongly recommended to ensure the best possible protection against influenza.
Take control of your health and fight the flu this season!
Flu Shot Bonus! You get a $5 coupon if you get your flu vaccine at the CVS in your local Target. No appointment is needed.
Dr. Kay got her medical education in Brazil.
Dr. Kay also has a master degree in Film and Television from UCLA and has been an adviser for medical television shows.
Dr. Kay is very active in the Health Industry. She is a member of the American Board of Home Care, the National Association of Home Care, CAHSAH, California Association of Health Services at Home. She co-chairs the education committee for the Down with Falls Coalition. Dr. Kay is in the speaker’s bureau for the coalition helping educate health care professionals and the community on fall risks, diabetes, adverse drug reaction, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, dehydration and nutrition, etc…. for older adults.
Dr. Kay was nominated by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) as the Remarkable Woman of 2008.
Dr. Kay is actively involved in many philanthropy and non-profit organizationssuch as the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, the Philharmonic Society, Women Helping Women, Youth Employment Services, E-Women, Women Sage, Plasticos Foundation, CIELO and others.
Dr. Kay’s passion is to assist seniors to live long and thrive in the comfort of their own home.
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