During most flu seasons, people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot. Strains of the flu virus are constantly changing, so a new flu vaccine is made each year.
Scientists make the vaccine before the flu season starts by predicting which flu strains are likely to be the most common during the upcoming season.
It is not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one season to another.
Influenza is often quite serious for people 65 and older.
Plum Landing believes the flu shot is important enough for seniors that they schedule a provider to come in each fall so that residents don’t have to go out for the vaccine. Generally speaking, Medicare will take care of any charges, but be sure to ask your provider.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Flu activity typically peaks in January or February.
A 2013 study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that people who got the flu shot were less likely to be hospitalized with the flu.
There are some studies that suggest the high-dose flu vaccine provides better protection for older adults.
People with severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine cannot get the flu shot. This might include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients.
Mild side effects include soreness, redness and possible swelling from the shot. Headache, fever, nausea and muscle aches are also listed as possible side effects.
Talk to your health care provider for more information about the flu vaccine.
Plum Landing : 495 North Lake Street, Aurora, IL 60506 : 630.896.5031 : www.plumlanding.org