It’s October, time to be thinking about getting the Flu Vaccine. There are many sites in Nashville, Tennessee set up to give flu shots on demand this year.
For seniors, this is especially important, since flu season can be deadly. Ninety percent (90%) of deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in the population of 65 and older, according to the government website: www.flu.gov
There are two choices for seniors. First, they can opt for the regular strength flu shot. But they can also choose the higher-dose shot, which is designed for seniors. Both vaccines protect against all three strains of the flu virus that are expected to be active this year, but the higher-dose shot builds stronger immunity. As we age, our immune system gets weaker, so the higher dose shot is a good alternative for many.
A clinical trial of 30,000 seniors over the age of 65 showed that the high dose flu vaccine was 24.2 percent more effective in preventing influenza than the standard vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are some individuals who should not get a flu vaccine without talking with their health care providers.
“People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with or without a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated), and
People with a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive vaccine. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.”
Getting the flu shot not only protects seniors, but also those in their families. The concept of building up a community of vaccinated people is sometimes called “herd immunity.” Your spouse, your grandchildren, and others can all benefit by your decision to get the flu vaccine.
The good news is that Medicare will pay for the flu shot.
So don’t delay. Now is the time to get your flu shot to protect you AND your family.