The weather is getting brisker. The leaves are starting to turn. We know what that means: it’s time to get a flu shot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of people get the flu each year. Of those millions, hundreds of thousands will require hospitalization, and tens of thousands will die. Each year.
The best way to protect yourself against the flu? Get a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends one for every person over the age of six months. Flu vaccines are especially important for seniors, who are more likely than adults under 65 to experience complications from the flu. In fact, if there is a vaccine shortage, anyone over age 50 is considered a priority for vaccination.
Here’s what seniors need to know about staying safe from the flu this year.
Which vaccine should I get?
There are six different types of flu vaccines. Five of the vaccines — Fluzone High-Dose, Fluad, Flucelvax Quadrivalent, FluBlok Quadrivalent, and a variety of egg-based quadrivalent flu shots (Afluria Quadrivalent, Fluarix Quadrivalent, FluLaval Quadrivalent, and FluZone Quadrivalent) are approved for people 65 and older.
The CDC does not recommend any particular vaccine, but you should speak to your doctor if you:
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine
- Have an allergy to eggs
- Have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- Are not feeling well
- Are immunocompromised
- Have taken antiviral flu drugs within the previous 48 hours
When should I get vaccinated?
The best time is right now. The CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine by the end of October, before the flu begins to spread.
Where can I get the vaccine?
A variety of places offer the flu vaccine, including doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and even some schools.
Does a vaccine provide complete protection against the flu?
No, it does not. You can still get sick with the flu even if you have been vaccinated. However, studies have shown that being vaccinated reduces the severity of the flu, even if you do get sick.
So, as you put away your short sleeve shirts and pull out your sweaters, you should be planning to protect yourself against one of the most serious contagious diseases that exists: the flu.
At Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, we are also preparing for the flu season by ensuring that everyone — staff and residents alike — has proper protection against the flu. It’s part of what we do to make sure everyone who stays with us is healthy and happy.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.