Where Can Seniors Get A Flu Shot
Several locations offer senior flu shots, including doctors offices, local health departments, and pharmacies.
You may be worried about taking your senior relative to get a flu shot this year if COVID-19 is still spreading in your community. However, the CDC says its especially important for seniors and others who are at increased risk for flu complications to get vaccinated.
There are certain steps your loved one can take to stay safe when going to get the flu shot:
- Wear a mask to the vaccine appointment.
- If your loved one has a fever, hold off on vaccinating them until theyre feeling better.
- Wash hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
View CDC guidelines for more information on protecting yourself and senior relatives from the seasonal flu as well as COVID-19.
Who Needs To Get A High
Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is only FDA-approved for people over 65, so if youre younger than that, you should stick to the regular dose vaccine. Speak with your healthcare provider to decide which available flu vaccine is the best option for you.
If youre over 65 and questioning your flu vaccines options, contact your healthcare provider. Theyll let you know which of the three CDC-recommended flu vaccines for people over 65 is the best for you.
If your pharmacy or healthcare providers office doesnt have high-dose flu vaccines in stock, its recommended to get vaccinated with a regular dose vaccine instead of waiting for Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent to be restocked. A regular dose vaccine will still offer you protection against the flu.
How To Use Fluzone High
The vaccine is usually given by injection into a muscle by a health care professional. Some brands may also be given by deep injection under the skin. Adults and children usually receive the injection in the upper arm, and infants receive it in the upper thigh.
The vaccination is usually given in the time from September to November when the number of cases of influenza virus begins to increase . Only one dose is required for people aged 9 years and older. Children under 9 years of age may receive a second dose depending on when the first dose was given. Discuss the dose schedule with your health care professional.
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What Are Some Side Effects That I Need To Call My Doctor About Right Away
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash hives itching red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever wheezing tightness in the chest or throat trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking unusual hoarseness or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Not able to move face muscles as much.
- Trouble controlling body movements.
- Feeling fussy.
- Crying that is not normal.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Other Ways To Protect Yourself
Keep in mind that the flu vaccine isn’t necessarily 100% effective. It is possible to come down with the flu, even after you’ve been vaccinated. Yet it’s still worth getting the shot. “Even if you get the flu despite having received a flu shot,” says Dr. Choi, “the vaccine can lessen the severity of symptoms and help you avoid serious complications from the flu.”
Should you ask your doctor to prescribe anti-influenza drugsoseltamivir and zanamivir in advance, in case you do catch the flu? Not necessarily, according to Dr. Choi. The flu shares many symptoms in common with other upper respiratory infections, and you might mistakenly treat a bacterial illness with an antiviral drug.
Plus, a research review published in April 2014 in The Cochrane Collaboration raises concerns about these drugs’ effectiveness at preventing flu complications, and highlights potential side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches.
“The safest course of action, particularly during the height of flu season, is to call the physician as soon as your symptoms appear,” says Dr. Choi.
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Senior Flu Shot Side Effects
The senior flu shot is considered safe, but it may cause mild side effects related to inflammation and the bodys immune response. During the week after getting the vaccine, seniors may experience the following symptoms:
- Soreness, tenderness, redness, or swelling at the injection site
- Headache or muscle aches
According to the CDC, you should check with the doctor before getting your loved one a senior flu shot if they have one of the following conditions or reactions:
- An allergy to any of the vaccine ingredients, other than eggs
- A serious auto-immune disorder, e.g., Guillain-Barre syndrome
- A fever
- An allergic reaction to the flu shot in the past
Doses For Children 9 Years And Adults
People aged 9 years need 1 dose of influenza vaccine every year, regardless of whether they have ever had influenza vaccine before.
For adults aged 65 years who have already received an adjuvanted influenza vaccine in the current influenza season, an extra dose of standard influenza vaccine in the same season is not recommended.
Similarly, if they have received a standard influenza vaccine, an extra dose of adjuvanted influenza vaccine in the same season is not recommended.
Follow standard recommendations when giving any extra dose during the current or future seasons .
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Signs Of A More Serious Reaction
“A very small percentage of people can have a true allergic reaction to the vaccine, including chest tightness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, facial or throat swelling and redness of the eyes,” Teague says. If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Teague says severe allergic reactions usually happen within a few hours of getting the flu shot.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction, according to the CDC, can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling around the eyes or lips
- A fast heartbeat or dizziness
Another possible reaction is an infection where the shot was administered. “Patients can also develop an infection at the injection site, which is manifested as worsening redness, swelling, warmth and tenderness,” Teague says. You should also seek immediate medical attention for this type of reaction.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Should I Get A Flu Shot
Yes! An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against influenza. Flu vaccines are very safe and help lower the risk of severe illness and death due to the flu. Thats why an annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months, including pregnant people and people with weakened immune systems.
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Why Should Older Adults Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is especially important for older adults because they tend to have weaker immune systems.
When the immune system isnt strong, it becomes harder for the body to fight off infections. Likewise, a weaker immune system can lead to flu-related complications.
Secondary infections that can develop with the flu include:
- ear infections
People ages 65 and older are at higher risk for serious complications. In fact, its estimated that as many as 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in people ages 65 and older. Plus, up to 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur in people ages 65 and older.
If you become ill after getting a vaccination, a flu shot may lessen the severity of symptoms of the illness.
Protecting yourself from the flu is increasingly important while COVID-19 is a factor.
So It Offers More Protection From The Flu
Exactly. A 2014 study published in The New England Journal of Clinical Medicine, which involved more than 30,000 adults aged 65 and older, found that participants who received the high-dose flu vaccine had 24% fewer flu illnesses compared to those who got the standard flu vaccine.
Another study, carried out during the 2013-2014 flu season and published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine in 2017, found that the high-dose flu shot was associated with a lower risk of hospital admissions compared with the regular flu shot in people age 65 and over. This was particularly true for those living in long-term care facilities.
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A Flu Vaccine Is The Best Protection Against Flu
Flu vaccination has many benefits. It has been shown to reduce flu illnesses and also to reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes that can result in hospitalization or even death in older people. Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
The best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications is with a flu vaccine. CDC recommends that almost everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year, ideally by the end of October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even into January or later.
Flu vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Flu vaccines are updated each season to keep up with changing viruses. Also, immunity wanes over a year so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against flu. Because immunity may decrease more quickly in older people, it is especially important that this group is not vaccinated too early . September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated for people 65 years and older.
People With Medical Conditions That Increase Their Risk Of Influenza
People aged 6 months with medical conditions specified in this List. Medical conditions associated with an increased risk of influenza disease and severe outcomes are strongly recommended to receive annual influenza vaccine.
People with these specific medical conditions have a higher risk of influenza or severe outcomes from influenza .9-29
People who have received a transplant
People who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant and are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time after transplant are recommended to receive:
- 2 doses at least 4 weeks apart the 1st time they receive influenza vaccine after the transplant
- 1 dose each year after that
Vaccine doses for people with the risk conditions in this list are funded under the NIP unless otherwise noted.
Functional or anatomical asplenia, including:
Cardiac disease, including:
Chronic neurological conditions, including:
|Long-term aspirin therapy in children aged 6 months to 10 years|
|Chronic liver diseasea|
|Children born less than 37 weeks gestationa|
|Harmful use of alcohola|
Pregnant women are strongly recommended to receive influenza vaccine in each pregnancy.
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How Do Flu Vaccines For Seniors Work
As we age, our immune systems do not function as well as they once did. Flu immunizations for seniors are designed to help our bodies better fight infection with more antibodies. These antibodies will support the immune system in fighting off infection.
The CDC reports that 80 to 90 percent of all flu-related deaths are among those over 65. Flu vaccinations for seniors are designed and recommended to help keep those 65+ safe all year long.
Why Is There A Need For Flu Vaccines Designed Specifically For People 65 Years And Older
People 65 years and older are at increased risk of developing serious complications from flu compared with young, healthy adults. This is partly because human immune defenses become weaker with increasing age. During most seasons, people 65 years and older account for the majority of flu hospitalizations and deaths. In the United States, between about 70 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people 65 years and older. The weakened immune system can also mean that older people dont respond as well to flu vaccination. Given the higher risk of severe flu illness and lower protective immune response after vaccination among older adults, substantial research and development have led to the production of new flu vaccines intended to provide better immunity in this age group.
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Fever And Febrile Convulsions In Children Aged < 5 Years
In 2010, higher rates of fever and convulsions were reported in children aged < 5 years after influenza vaccination, especially in children aged < 3 years.
Only the Seqirus vaccines Fluvax and Fluvax Junior were associated with this side effect. After vaccination with Fluvax or Fluvax Junior, children < 5 years of age had convulsions at a rate of 4.4 per 1000 doses, compared with no such events reported among children who received an alternative vaccine in the same year.85
The Fluvax and Fluvax Junior vaccines are no longer available in Australia and available Seqirus vaccines have been reformulated.
Increased Interest In Vaccinations
Chager identified, through her own professional experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increased interest in vaccines more broadly.
I’ve actually seen it with other vaccinations as well, not just influenza, she said. I’d say that maybe there is just a little bit more acceptance of the value of vaccinations.
Pharmasave conducted a survey 7,000 consumers across Ontario and Atlantic Canada, which found that 86 per cent of respondents said they plan to get a flu shot this year, up from 78 per cent last year.
I’m sure that the fall season and patients being really uneasy about getting sick during these months has a lot to do with the sentiment to get the influenza vaccination, Chager said.
In Ontario, its recommended that anyone six months and older receive the influenza vaccination but pharmacies are only able to inject in people over the age of five.
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The Flu Shot Is Your Best Defence
This years flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. Dont take any unnecessary risks with your health. Get the flu shot as early in the season as possible.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months old and older. It is:
- available from your doctor or nurse practitioner, and at participating pharmacies and local public health units across the province
- proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu
- different each year because the virus changes frequently so you need to get it every fall
When To Get The Flu Shot
Flu season typically runs from late fall to early spring.
Flu shots are now available for all Ontarians. You should get a flu shot as soon as possible because it takes two weeks to take effect.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization now recommends that COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time as the flu vaccine.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacy to learn more.
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Time For Your Flu Vaccine: Do You Need A Higher Dose
To avoid a miserable case of the flu and the complications it can cause, get a flu shot before the start of the season, ideally in early fall.
The pros and cons of the high-dose vaccine, and tips to protect yourself from infection this season.
The flu is far more than a fever and sniffles that sideline you for a few days. In older adults, it can lead to serious complications like bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can worsen existing medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. In fact, most flu-related hospitalizations and nearly all deaths from the disease occur in people 65 and older.
“The strength of the immune response tends to decrease with age. So as people get older, they are more likely to become significantly ill from diseases like the flu,” explains Dr. Elisa Choi, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist at Harvard Vanguard Medical Center. The best way to protect yourself against the flu is by getting vaccinated, but because of the natural decline in your immune system, you may produce fewer flu-fighting antibodies in response to the vaccine than you once did, and be less protected as a result.