Senior Super Shot Available to Fight Flu
Flu season is quickly approaching along with Halloween, turkey day and El Nino! If you or a loved one is 65 or older it is especially important to get a flu shot now if you haven’t already. People over 65 have increased risk from the complications of flu because immune systems weaken with age. The CDC estimates that between 80 percent and 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in people 65 years and older and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations also occur in that age group. Flu vaccines are updated to keep up with changing viruses and our immunity decreases as the year goes by so an annual vaccination is needed for best protection.
This year a newer flu vaccine designed for people 65 and older is available. This new higher dose vaccine contains 4 times the amount of antigen as the regular flu shot producing a higher immune response. Seniors produce 50-75% fewer antibodies in response to regular flu shots. Early studies suggest this “senior super shot” may give seniors better protection against flu disease. However, in three of the largest clinical studies those who received the higher dose vaccine were also more likely to experience side effects such as fever and soreness at the injection site in the week after receiving the high dose vaccine. If you are over 65 ask your doctor or pharmacist about this high dose vaccination and whether it is right for you.
As always, to protect yourself and other from getting sick this winter practice good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes with your arm or tissue, wash your hands often and avoid people who are sick. Older folks and people with compromised immune systems should seek medical treatment immediately if flu symptoms appear. Early intervention with anti-viral drugs may ward off serious complications and shorten the duration and intensity of symptoms. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, chills, headache and fever. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Click here to learn more about the Flu season.
Remember: Don’t Delay, Get That Shot Today!