Living In A Retirement Center
People who live in crowded places are more likely to get the flu. If you or a loved one is over 65, talk to a doctor about a flu shot plus the pneumococcal vaccines. It can protect you from more than 20 types of bacteria that cause serious diseases like meningitis, pneumonia, and blood infections.
If youâre a healthy adult over 65, you may get two different pneumococcal vaccines. The timing and sequence will vary.
Doctors may suggest this vaccine for some younger adults, particularly those with a higher risk for infections because of liver or heart disease, COPD, kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic illnesses.
Closing Thoughts About Flu Shots
However, when you model the long-term outcomes of being vaccinated against the flu regularly, it supports my hypothesis that flu vaccinations will save you from at least one week of misery, and probably more! Regular flu shots both lengthen your expected time until first catching the flu and reduce the number of times you can expect the flu virus make you sick within a 20-year timeframe.
There are some additional complications when it comes to the flu. Recall that other viruses are in circulation. These can be other strains of flu and non-flu viruses that cause flu-like symptoms. In this post, the probabilities of infection only refer to catching a strain of flu that is in that years flu vaccinations. Its possible to be vaccinated annually and never catch a flu strain that you were vaccinated against but yet experience flu-like symptoms from some other virus or flu strain. Nevertheless, you are still receiving the benefits discussed above.
So, what am I going to do about shots?
Of course, Im not a medical doctor, and you should talk to yours for specific advice. Even though the benefits might seem small for a single year, I am going to continue to get my flu shots annually. Im sure that they will prevent misery down the road! Additionally, it reduces the risk of me passing the flu to my 99-year-old grandmother , which would be very dangerous for her.
Articles On Flu Risks & Prevention
How many people get the flu each year? How much does it cost us? How well does the vaccine work?
Here’s a rundown of some important statistics based on the best available data.
5% to 20% — Percentage of the U.S. population that will get the flu, on average, each year.
200,000 — Average number of Americans hospitalized each year because of problems with the illness.
8,200 to 20,000 — Number of people who die each year from flu-related causes in the U.S.
$10 billion+ — Average costs of hospitalizations and outpatient doctor visits related to the flu.
1 to 4 days — Typical time it takes for symptoms to show up once you’ve caught the virus. Adults can be contagious from the day before symptoms begin through 5 to 10 days after the illness starts.
Peak flu season in the U.S.
162 million to 169 million — Number of flu vaccine doses expected to be available in the U.S. for the 2019-2020 flu season.
6 months — The youngest age for which the CDC recommends a flu shot.
Swine flu — A new type that spread worldwide during 2009-2010, causing the first flu pandemic — global outbreak of disease — caused by a new flu virus in more than 40 years. It’s estimated that the pandemic caused more than 12,000 flu-related deaths in the U.S. In contrast to seasonal flu, nearly 90% of the deaths were of people younger than 65.
3 viruses — You get protection from two influenza A viruses and one influenza B virus with the 2019-206 “trivalent” flu vaccine:
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What That Means For The Infection Rate
Experts told Fact Check the Cochrane review showed the risk of getting the flu was halved by the vaccine.
Dr David Price, a biostatistician at the University of Melbourne, told Fact Check: “What these numbers mean, is that for every 1000 people, 23 would get flu without a vaccine programme. However, with a vaccine programme, the number of people who would get flu reduces to 9 in 1000.”
The difference in these values, Dr Price explained, showed that for every 1000 individuals vaccinated, 14 flu cases were prevented.
“It appears as though Professor Del Mar may have misinterpreted this figure as the vaccine effectiveness, which it is not. The vaccine effectiveness is actually around 59 per cent,” Dr Price said.
“A fairer statement in referring to the difference between 0.9 per cent and 2.3 per cent would be to refer to a reduction of 1.4 percentage-points. When thinking about this difference as a relative difference… we can see that the total number of cases as a result of the vaccine has more than halved, and thus sounds far more effective than stating that the vaccine only reduces influenza by one to two per cent.”
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A Weakened Immune System Increases Your Risk
If you have a weakened or impaired immune system, it increases your chances of getting the flu, even if you’ve been vaccinated. People with an impaired immune system include infants, children, and the elderly.
The reason people with impaired immune systems are at greater risk of getting sick, even after vaccination, is because the flu vaccine relies on the strength of your immune system to work.
After you receive the flu vaccine, the viral strains come into contact with your body’s B cells, a special type of cell whose job is to recognize foreign invaders and prepare your body to fight them. So when your B cells spot a full-strength virus, they produce antibodies that attach themselves to the virus and, eventually, another type of immune system cell called phagocytes overwhelm and destroy the virus.
But people with impaired immune systems don’t produce as many antibodies and aren’t as protected.
For example, a 2019 study published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe showed that elderly participants who got a flu vaccine had fewer antibodies to target the flu virus than younger participants, and that made it harder for them to fight infection.
That’s why the CDC offers a high dose vaccine for certain people over the age of 65. The high dose vaccine contains four times as many inactive viruses as the regular flu shot and has been proven to trigger a stronger immune response for greater protection.
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A Story Of 3 Age Brackets: Under 55 Over 75 And Those In Between
It is clear from these analyses that death from COVID-19 is low for those under 55, and especially those under 25. By contrast, it is relatively high for those over 75. This evidence should lead us to consider ways to reopen pre-K and K-12 schools and also postsecondary institutions like colleges. It should also lead us to do everything we can to protect the elderly, especially those in nursing homes.
Those between 55 and 75 years of age are somewhere in between. In aggregate, those in this age range are roughly 5 times as likely to die of COVID-19 than influenza.
However, the absolute risk of death from COVID-19 scales up in this bracket by age. At a death toll of 225,000, about 1 in 1,500 individuals aged 5564 will die of COVID-19 among those aged 6574, about one in 630 will.
According to our projections, if 225,000 Americans in total die of COVID-19, approximately 4,532 3544-year olds would be in that category. For context, in 2016, 2,851 individuals in that age range died of liver disease 3,369 died of homicide 7,030 died in suicides 10,477 died of heart disease 10,903 died of malignant cancers and 20,975 died of unintentional injuries such as car accidents.
Putting COVID-19 fatalities in context.
Can You Get The Flu Twice In One Season
This flu season is a particularly severe one, and it’s not over yet health officials say flu activity will likely remain elevated for at least several more weeks. But if you already caught the flu, are you in the clear for the rest of the season?
Unfortunately, no. Experts say it is possible to catch the flu twice in one season. That’s because there are multiple strains of flu viruses circulating at any one time, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. So getting sick with one strain of flu won’t necessarily protect you from a different strain.
But the good news is that it’s pretty rare to catch the flu twice in a single season. Having this happen would be “quite a stroke of bad luck,” Schaffner told Live Science.
Most people who get the flu this season are getting sick with the H3N2 strain. But a smaller portion of people are getting the H1N1 strain or the influenza B virus, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Seasonal flu shots contain three to four strains of flu virus, because there isn’t much “cross protection” between strains, Schaffner said. It’s possible that getting sick with one type of influenza A virus would offer some modest protection against another type of influenza A, but it probably wouldn’t give you any protection against the influenza B virus, Schaffner said.
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How To Prevent Influenza
The best ways to prevent seasonal influenza is by:
- getting the influenza vaccine every year because the virus changes each year
- washing your hands often
Antibiotics do not work against the influenza virus or any other virus. Antiviral medications may be used for treatment or prevention of influenza.
What Can You Do To Stay As Healthy As Possible Get Your Covid
The best way to protect yourself and others from influenza and COVID-19 is by getting vaccinated for both viruses.
When you get a flu shot, youre up to 60% less likely to get the flu, according to the CDC. And studies also show that even if you do get sick, your flu symptoms will be less severe and youre less likely to need hospital care to recover.
When it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, data suggests all currently authorized vaccines are effective in preventing illness from COVID-19, with the greatest protection coming against severe illness, hospitalization and death.
Its also important to know its possible to test positive for the flu and COVID-19, as well as other respiratory conditions, at the same time. This can increase your risk of severe complications.
Schedule your vaccinations today
Want to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
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What’s New For Flu For 2021
It’s best to get your family vaccinated for flu by October, but flu vaccine is still available through winter. You may visit your local doctor’s office, pharmacy or clinic event in your area. See www.vaccinefinder.org or call the Help Me Grow Washington hotline at 1-800-322-2588 to find a flu vaccine location near you.
- In Washington, all children under age 19 get flu vaccines and other recommended vaccines at no cost.
- The provider may charge an administration fee to give the vaccine. You can ask them to waive this fee if you cannot afford it.
- Most insurance plans, including Medicare part B, cover the cost of flu vaccine for adults.
- Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can both be received in the same day, or even the same visit for convenience.
- Talk to your local health department for information about other no-cost flu vaccine options that may be available in your community.
You Got The Flu Vaccine Too Early
Getting your flu vaccine is one instance when being overly prepared in life can have downsides.
The CDC recommends that adults get vaccinated by the end of October each year for the best protection against the flu. If you received your vaccine earlier, say in July or August, the CDC says your immunity to the influenza viruses will be “suboptimal” by the end of flu season, which could increase your risk of getting sick.
For children who need two doses of the flu vaccine, they should receive their first vaccine earlier because they need to wait at least four weeks for the second dose. The second dose should be administered no later than the end of October.
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How Does The Vaccine Work
New flu vaccines are developed in preparation for each flu season in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
Flu vaccines can either be inactivated where the virus is essentially “dead” or live attenuated, where the virus is alive, but weakened.
All flu vaccines currently available in Australia are inactivated.
Flu vaccines typically contain three to four strains of the flu two type A strains and one or two type B strains.
As different strains of influenza circulate each flu season, a certain amount of guesswork goes into deciding which strains will be included in the vaccine.
In February and September each year, the World Health Organisation gathers experts and influenza centres from around the world in order to make recommendations on the composition of the next flu vaccine.
Once the World Health Organisation has made its recommendation, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee meets with the Therapeutic Goods Administration to confirm which strains will be included in the Australian vaccine.
In addition to the standard flu vaccine, this year there are enhanced flu vaccines available to elderly Australians.
These vaccines include three strains of the virus rather than the usual four, and are designed to target the strains most commonly affecting older people.
Younger Americans Appear To Have A Significantly Lower Chance Of Dying From Covid
As Americans struggle to understand the risks of COVID-19 relative to other infectious diseases, a common benchmark is influenza, commonly known as the flu. So what is the relative risk of dying from COVID-19 vs. the flu? The answer: it depends on your age, and also your assumptions about how deadly COVID-19 will turn out to be.
However, based on mid-range assumptions, it appears that those under 25 have a significantly lower risk of dying from COVID-19 vs. the flu, while those over 35 are at significantly greater risk. Those over 75, in particular, are at the greatest risk of dying from COVID-19.
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Get Treatment And Care Virtually
Whether youre stuck at home with a fever or you arent ready to leave your house just yet, there are a couple ways to get quality virtual care that fits your preferences.
Make a video visit appointment for face-to-face care from a doctor or nurse practitioner. With video visits, your doctor will listen to your symptoms, answer questions and work with you to create a tailored treatment plan if needed. For example, your doctor may prescribe antivirals to treat the flu.
Start a virtual visit anytime, anyplace through Virtuwell. With Virtuwell, no appointment is necessary and treatment is available 24/7. Getting started is easy. Well ask you a few questions, and youll get your diagnosis and treatment plan from a board-certified nurse practitioner.
Show/hide Words To Know
Absolute humidity: the amount of water vapor that is present in a particular volume of air.
Epidemic: occurs when new cases of a disease appear in a human population during a given period of time that infects more people than expected based on what we know about the disease.
Influenza: an infection that affects the nose, lungs, and throat. It causes symptoms like runny nose, chills, fever, and headache. It is more commonly known as the flu.
Morbidity: the rate that a disease or illness affects a group of people.
Simulate: to look like, take the shape of, or sound like something else imitate.
Transmission: the act of passing something from one thing to another.
Virus: a super tiny germ that you can only see with a microscope. Viruses need a host in order to reproduce… more
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Modelling Flu Outcomes Over Decades
Flu shots benefits are like investing year-after-year. The cumulative effect magnifies the differences over time. Im going to model flu outcomes over decades in the same manner that financial planners illustrate the differences between different courses of action.
Investment return rates fluctuate over the years just like the influenza rates. Financial planners use reasonable long-term averages to provide an estimate of different outcomes. Similarly, Ill use the average infection rate for those who are vaccinated and those who are not. This approach produces comparative results for annual flu vaccinations versus no flu vaccinations over decades.
To model this statistically, Ill use probability distribution plots. Because the data are binary , Ill use discrete probability distributions that are designed for binary datathe binomial and geometric distributions. For the graphs, the assumptions are that the average infection rate for the:
- Unvaccinated is 7.0% annually.
- Vaccinated is 1.9% annually.
Well learn what effect that 5.1% difference has over decades. Ill compare two different scenariosgetting the flu shot every year versus never getting the influenza vaccination. Using our estimates, Ill answer two questions:
- How long until my first case of the flu on average?
- How many times will I get the flu?
In both plots, the left panel displays the no flu shot scenario while the right panel shows the annual influenza vaccine scenario.