What To Do If Your Older Parent Or Relative Is Unwilling Or Unable To Get Vaccinated
Now, what if your older parent wont, or cant, get a flu shot?
Some older adults just dont want to get it. Here are some things you can try:
- Ask them to clarify what their concerns are. Its important to start by listening, in order to understand what an older person believes about the flu and the flu shot.
- Provide information to dispel myths and misunderstandings. Sometimes all people need is a little of the right kind of information.
- Point out that it can benefit an older persons family members and neighbors. Getting a flu shot can reduce the risk that we pass the flu on to another person. People are sometimes more willing to take action to protect others than to protect their own health.
- Make sure they know they wont have to pay for the flu shot. If you get the shot from a provider who takes Medicare, it shouldnt cost anything.
- Offer to go together to get your flu shots. Sometimes it helps to make it a family outing.
There are also some older adults for whom its hard to get a flu shot, such as people who are homebound or have very limited transportation options.
If this is your situation, the main thing to do is encourage flu shots for family and others coming to the house. For older adults who dont get out much, their main source of exposure to influenza and other dangerous viruses will be from those who come to them.
Above all, dont panic if your older loved one cant or wont get a flu shot.
Is It Safe To Mix And Match Vaccine And Booster Brands
Yes. The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized mixing COVID-19 boosters, which in the US means Moderna and Pfizer. Any adult eligible for a booster can get any of the available brands of coronavirus vaccines. If you initially received Johnson & Johnson and it’s been two months or longer since you received the initial dose, you’ll be able to get the Moderna or Pfizer booster. If you received Moderna or Pfizer for your first two shots, you could pick any authorized vaccine available to you, if you qualify and it’s been six months or longer since your second shot.
In its study, the CDC found 95% of those who got Moderna for the first round of vaccine shots chose Moderna for the booster dose.
Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have An Egg Allergy
The influenza vaccine is typically grown in eggs. But the traces of egg protein that remain after the vaccine is made are so tiny that the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy says both adults and children with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated against the flu. The risk of anaphylaxis after vaccination is very low, estimated at 1.35 cases per 1 million doses.
It is rare for people with egg allergy to experience other side effects, such as hives, wheezing, vomiting or abdominal pain, after getting the flu shot. If you are concerned, ask your doctor if you, or your child, can be observed by staff for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine .
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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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Where Can I Get A Flu Shot
- Visit your health department or a retail pharmacy in your community.
- Look for a community flu shot clinic:
- University of Michigan Health walk-in flu clinics for patients 9 years and older: View the 2021 Flu Immunization Clinic Calendar for a list of these clinics.
- Michigan Medicine Community Health Services drive-thru clinics for adults 19 years and older: View the CHS Drive-Thru Flu Clinic flyer for dates and locations.
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Is Moderna Working On Additional Covid Vaccine Boosters
On Monday, Moderna president Stephen Hoge said the company’s current 50-microgram COVID booster gives “quite respectable” protection. The company is continuing to study an omicron-specific vaccine and a multivalent one that could protect against other variants, including the alpha and delta strains, in case either is needed.
The company said it is also studying a 100-microgram version of its current vaccine booster, which appears to raise antibody protection 83 fold. Hoge said Moderna could have new versions of its vaccine ready early in 2022 but is not planning to ask the CDC and FDA to amend its booster authorization for the 100-microgram trial version of its booster.
Everyone 6 Months And Older Should Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is your best defence against the flu. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
It can save lives by:
- protecting you, if you’re exposed to the virus
- preventing you from getting very sick
- protecting people close to you:
- because you’re less likely to spread the virus
- who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu
The flu shot wont protect you against COVID-19.
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Which Vaccine Is Right For You
Since 2009, a higher-dose flu vaccine called Fluzone High-Dose has been available for adults 65 and over. Like the regular-dose flu vaccine, it contains the three flu strains experts believe will be most prevalent in the upcoming flu season. But it also contains four times the usual amount of immune-stimulating antigens against the virus.
Is it worth getting the high-dose vaccine if you’re over 65? “I think it’s an area of much debate and discussion,” Dr. Choi says. While some studies have found the high-dose vaccine stimulates a higher immune system response in the lab, it’s not yet clear whether that translates into better protection against the flu in the real world.
The high-dose vaccine also comes with some downsides worth considering: more pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, as well as bodywide side effects like muscle pain, headache, and fever. Most of these effects are mild and short-lived.
There are currently no official recommendations advising seniors to switch to the high-dose flu vaccine. Dr. Choi recommends weighing the pros and cons with your doctor to help you decide.
Accessing The Influenza Vaccine For Employees Clients Patients Etc
- Is there a mobile clinic that can come to our work location to vaccinate our employees?
- A number of organizations, including private health care agencies, pharmacies, and travel clinics, have offered this service in the past. This information can be found online by searching for workplace influenza vaccine clinics in B.C. or by contacting your local pharmacy or travel clinic. ImmunizeBC does not endorse any one organization, and we recommend that you contact the specific organization for details. Your local health unit may have information on who provides this service in your area.
- Is there a way to get in-home influenza vaccines for those who are housebound?
- You can contact your local health unit for this information. Ask to speak to a public health nurse.
- We work with developmentally disabled adults, some of whom are very needle phobic. Is there a possibility to arrange for them to get the nasal spray vaccine?
Contact your local health unit to see if this can be arranged. Ask to speak to a public health nurse.
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Can The Flu Vaccine Give Me The Flu
A common worry is that the flu vaccine can give you the flu. This isnt possible.
The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated form of the influenza virus or virus components that cant cause infection. Some individuals do experience side effects that will typically go away in a day or so. These include:
- low-grade fever
When To Decline The Vaccine
The CDC recommends that everyone over six months of age get the flu vaccine. Aside from some soreness at the site of the injection, there are few risks associated with it. However, there are times when it should be declined or postponed.
For example, people who have had severe allergic reactions to eggs, such as anaphylaxis, should request an egg-free version of the vaccine.
Also, someone undergoing very intensive chemotherapy, such as after a bone marrow transplant, should not get the flu shot, warns Dr. Kamboj. The vaccine is not likely to offer any protection in this setting, and if certain blood counts such as platelets are extremely low, bleeding at the site of the injection can occur.
Vaccination guidelines state that people should wait at least four months after transplant to receive the flu shot.
Once flu season is officially declared, New York State law requires unvaccinated healthcare workers to wear a mask when they are near patients in hospitals and other medical facilities. Unvaccinated individuals visiting patient-care areas at MSK are also asked to wear a mask to further reduce the risk of transmission among our patients, notes Dr. Kamboj.
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Helping Others Stay Well
When youre receiving cancer treatment, youre also in close proximity to healthcare workers and other patients who might be more vulnerable to complications from the flu. Experts agree that getting the flu shot not only shores up your immunity but also protects others.
When we educate patients about getting vaccinated, we highly encourage family members and caregivers to get the vaccine too, especially if there are young children in the household, notes Dr. Kamboj.
Older people, especially those undergoing cancer treatment, are at higher risk for getting the flu and for developing health complications because of it. A high-dose flu vaccine is available for people age 65 and over. Clinical studies have shown that it provides greater protection against the flu in the elderly population compared to the standard vaccine.
Individuals Currently In Quarantine For Sars
- Individuals should postpone vaccination until the individual is no longer required to quarantine or isolate according to criteria indicated by public health authorities in their province or territory
For additional advice, refer to the following guidance document developed in consultation with NACI:
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Flu Season Tips And Alerts
COVERAGE UNDER MAJOR HEALTH PLANS
FLUZONE® HIGH-DOSE QUADRIVALENT is free with Medicare Part B, and it may be covered with no co-payment or deductible under Medicare Advantage and private insurance plans.
FLUZONE® QUADRIVALENT INFLUENZA VACCINE
Helps protect people as young as 6 months of age against 4 different strains of the flu contained in the vaccine.
FLUBLOK® QUADRIVALENT INFLUENZA VACCINE
Proven flu protection in adults 50+, compared to a standard-dose influenza vaccine.
What are Fluzone® Quadrivalent, Flublok® Quadrivalent, and Fluzone® High-Dose Quadrivalent?
Fluzone Quadrivalent, Flublok Quadrivalent, and Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent are vaccines indicated for immunization against disease caused by influenza A and B strains contained in the vaccine. Fluzone Quadrivalent is given to people 6 months of age and older. Flublok Quadrivalent is given to people 18 years of age and older. Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is given to people 65 years of age and older.
Whats New And Resources For The 2021
The CDC maintains a page dedicated to the current flu season. There is a section for the public and also a section for providers. This is a good place to get up-to-date information on influenza and influenza vaccination. You can find it here:
Note that the CDCs Flu FAQ page currently includes lots of information about influenza and COVID-19, such as how to tell them apart, why its safe to be vaccinated for both at the same time, and more.
The CDC also provides information specific to older adults here:
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Can I Have The Flu Vaccine If I Take Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a type of medicine used to treat some cancers, including metastatic melanoma, renal clear cell carcinoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, non-small celllung cancer and other solid organ tumours. Checkpoint inhibitors include ipilimumab, nivolumab and pembrolizumab.
People taking checkpoint inhibitors may have a higher risk of immune-related side effects following influenza vaccination. Talk to your oncologist about the risks and benefits of the flu shot.
For more information on the flu vaccine, go to the Department of Health website or call the National Immunisation Hotline on 1800 671 811.
What Are The Common Side Effects Of A Booster Jab
Most of the side effects that people may experience from a third jab are the same as those experienced with all other Covid vaccines used in the UK.
The most common side effects include:
- Sore, heavy arm where you had your injection
- General aches or mild flu-like symptoms
- Feeling feverish
According to the NHS, these symptoms may last around one or two days after vaccination. You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, to ease any discomfort.
If you experience other side effects, you can report them on the Yellow Card Coronavirus Reporting Site, which helps the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ensure safe and effective use.
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Is It Ok To Get The Flu Vaccine More Than Once In The Same Flu Season
Studies have not shown there is any benefit for most adults getting more than one dose of vaccine in the same flu season. However, its recommended that some people get 2 doses of the flu vaccine in one season:
- children under 9 years old who have not ever been vaccinated against the flu
- people who are having flu vaccination for the first time after a stem cell transplant or organ transplant
- pregnant women, who may be vaccinated with the next seasons influenza vaccine if it becomes available in the latter part of their pregnancy, even if they had the previous seasons vaccine
- overseas travellers who are going to the northern hemisphere winter
What Are Flu Vaccines For Seniors
Often referred to as High-Dose , based on the brand name of one popular flu vaccine, flu vaccines for seniors are super-charged to help keep people 65+ healthy throughout the flu season. The two approved vaccines for people 65+ either contain four times the antigens of a regular flu shot or an additive known as an adjuvant.
Both offer greater, but about the same as one another, protection from illness than standard egg-based quadrivalent vaccines, studies have shown.
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Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
Injection Vs Nasal Spray Vaccine
The influenza vaccine can be delivered as either an injection or as a nasal spray.
The flu shot can come in a variety of forms that protect against three or four influenza strains. Although no type of flu shot is recommended over others, you should speak to your doctor about which one is best for you.
The nasal spray contains a small dose of a live, but weakened form of the influenza virus.
The nasal spray
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