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When Should Elderly Get Flu Shot

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How To Prevent The Flu

Seniors: Did you get your flu shot?

Prevention is key to avoid the flu and its complications. Everyone should consider getting an annual flu vaccination, especially if you are age 65 and older.

If you fall in this age group, your doctor can give you a vaccination thats recommended for all age groups, or a vaccination thats designed specifically for people age 65 and older.

This includes the high-dose flu vaccine Fluzone, which builds a stronger immune system response following the vaccination.

Another option is the Fluad vaccine, which is also designed to build a stronger immune system response to vaccination.

The flu vaccine isnt 100 percent effective. But it can reduce the risk of the flu by 40 to 60 percent .

Flu season is between October and May in the United States, so you should get a flu shot before the end of October. Remember, it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to be effective.

In addition to an annual vaccination, there are other ways to protect yourself against the flu:

  • Avoid crowded areas.

Where To Get A Flu Shot: Find A Local Clinic

Flu shots are available in many convenient locations, like major drugstores, health clinics, and doctors offices.

That makes getting a flu shot quick and easy most of these locations dont even require an appointment, you can walk in anytime.

This year, the nationwide online vaccine finder has been dedicated to locating Covid-19 vaccines.

To find a flu shot near you, contact your doctors office or use online flu vaccine finders from major drugstore pharmacies including:

Who Should You Get A Flu Vaccine And Which One Should You Choose

You can get the flu at any time of year, but it’s most common in the fall and winter. It usually starts to spread in October and peaks between December and February. That’s why this time is called the flu season

It takes at least two weeks for your flu vaccine to start working, so try to get vaccinated by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated after October can still help protect you from the flu. Because older adults may lose protection from a flu vaccine more quickly, try to avoid getting vaccinated too early .

Several flu vaccines are available. There are also two types of high-dose vaccinations specifically for people 65 years and older. These vaccines create a stronger immune response. Talk with a health care provider or pharmacist about which vaccine is best for you.

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The Flu Shot Is Effective

The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from season to season. It depends on:

  • how well the vaccine matches with the circulating flu viruses
  • the health and age of the person getting the flu shot

The viruses circulating in the population can sometimes change during the time it takes to produce a vaccine. When this happens during the flu season, the flu shot may not work as well as expected.

It’s also important to remember that the flu shot protects against several different flu viruses each season. The seasonal flu shot can still provide protection against the remaining 2 or 3 viruses, even when theres:

  • a less-than-ideal match
  • lower effectiveness against one virus

If you do get the flu, the flu shot may reduce the severity of flu-related complications.

Getting your flu shot is still the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu and flu-related complications.

When Should I Get Vaccinated

Why many Americans still skip flu shots

The simple answer is sooner rather than later.

The flu season changes every year. While it typically peaks in January or February, in years past it has begun as early as October and calmed down as late as May.

The CDC recommends getting the vaccine as soon as it becomes available, as its protection lasts throughout the flu season.

Vaccine manufactures are expected to make 135 to 139 million vaccination doses this year. During last years flu season, which affected 48 states, many areas reported vaccine shortages in February because of rushes when the flu seasons peak was worse than expected.

The flu shot is offered at doctors offices, pharmacies, and other healthcare centers nationwide.

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What Flu Vaccine Should I Get

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. There are flu shots approved for use in children as young as 6 months of age and flu shots approved for use in adults 65 years and older. Flu shots also are recommended for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions. The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in non-pregnant individuals, 2 years through 49 years of age. People with some medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine. Your provider will know which flu vaccine is best for you.

I Still Got The Flu After The Flu Vaccine Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine This Year

Although the flu vaccine wont prevent every case of the flu, getting an annual vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness. Getting the flu vaccine may make illness milder. A 2017 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases showed that influenza vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized influenza patients.

A flu shot cannot cause flu illness. If you get flu-like symptoms after receiving the flu vaccine, there may be a few reasons why you have a low grade fever, and headache, including that they may be mild side-effects of the vaccine. If you get diagnosed with the flu shortly after receiving the flu vaccine, you may have been exposed to the flu virus beforehand, as it takes approximately two weeks for the vaccine to work.

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Here Are Some Guidelines To Help You Decide If Your Child Should Get The Flu Vaccine:

  • Children under 6 months of age should not get a flu shot since they have immature immune systems and cannot respond to a flu vaccine. Mothers who are breastfeeding and have had a flu vaccination can provide protection to their infants through breast milk.
  • Children aged 6 to 23 months should get a flu shot since it is risky for a child in this age group to develop the flu.
  • Children aged 2 to 18 years old do not need a flu shot unless they have a chronic illness or if they have a sibling younger than 6 months old.

Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine

Is It Too Soon To Get A Flu Shot?

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.

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What Are The Benefits Of Flu Vaccination

There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year. Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.

  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with the flu.

  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working-age adults, and older adults.

  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.

  • Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.

  • Flu vaccination can reduce worsening and hospitalization for flu-related chronic lung disease, such as in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

  • Flu vaccination also has been shown in separate studies to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.

  • Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.

  • Flu vaccines can be lifesaving in children.

  • Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.

What Protection Does A Flu Vaccine Provide If I Do Get Sick With The Flu

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Cdc Panel: Elderly Americans Should Get Newer Souped

What is the difference? COVID-19, the flu, the common cold

Health experts advise getting tested by a health care provider but here are some key differences between COVID-19, the flu and the common cold as told by a nurse educator.

NEW YORK – Americans 65 and older should get newer, souped-up flu vaccines because regular shots don’t provide them enough protection, a federal advisory panel said Wednesday.

The panel unanimously recommended certain flu vaccines that might offer more or longer protection for seniors, whose weakened immune systems don’t respond as well to traditional shots.

Options include: Fluzone High-Dose, Fluad with an immune booster, or Flublok which is made with insect cells instead of chicken eggs.

The panels recommendations usually are adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and become the governments guidance for U.S. doctors and their patients. This would be the first time the government has stated a flu vaccine preference for older adults.

U.S. officials currently say that all Americans 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season.

An elderly person is vaccinated against the flu at the Baviera Health Center, on 25 October, 2021.

“These influenza vaccines are better but are not yet the home run that we would love to have,” said panel member Dr. Helen Keipp Talbot of Vanderbilt University,

Panel members said seniors should get regular flu shots if the newer ones aren’t available.

Yes You May Have A Sore Arm

Here Is When You Should Get Your Flu Shot â Mother Jones

Dont be surprised if you notice more side effects like an especially tender arm after your flu vaccination. It tends to be a little more sore after a high-dose shot because youve put in four times as much flu vaccine, points out Schaffner. But try to skip the over-the-counter pain relievers, as research suggests they may dilute the shots effectiveness.

You can also get the high-dose shot at the same time as you get your COVID-19 booster theres no reason why you need to space them out, doctors say but just be aware that you may end up with two sore arms.

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Why Do You Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year

You need a flu vaccine every year for two reasons. First, flu viruses change and the flu vaccine is updated each year to target the flu viruses that are anticipated to spread that year. Second, the protection you get from a flu vaccine lessens with time, especially in older adults. Getting your flu vaccine every fall gives you the best protection from that year’s flu viruses.

Whens The Best Time To Get The Shot

Flu season can begin as early as September and last as late as May. Your best bet is to get a flu shot early in the season so your body has a chance to build up immunity to the virus. It takes about 2 weeks for the flu shot to protect you. Ideally, the best time to get the shot is in early September and no later than late October. If you don’t get it early, getting a flu shot later still helps. Vaccination earlier may cause protection to weaken by end of the season.

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Vaccines To Help Prevent Pneumonia

Pneumococcal disease is a serious infection that spreads from person to person by air. It often causes pneumonia in the lungs and it can affect other parts of the body. Older adults are at higher risk than younger people of getting very sick or dying from pneumococcal disease.

The CDC recommends that all adults 65 and older get pneumococcal vaccination. This vaccine will help protect you from getting a serious infection, including pneumonia. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccine available . Talk with a health care provider to find out which one is best for you, or if you need both.

How To Treat The Flu

CDC Recommending Everyone 6 Months Or Older To Get Flu Vaccine

If you dont see a doctor within the first 48 hours of symptoms, antiviral treatment for the flu is less likely to shorten the duration or reduce the symptoms of the infection. However, antiviral treatment may still be given if you have a high risk of complications.

Theres no cure for the flu, so the virus must run its course. Symptoms do respond to over-the-counter cold and flu medications, though. You can take ibuprofen as directed for pain and a fever.

Its important to get plenty of rest to strengthen your immune system and fight the virus. By taking care of yourself at home, you should feel better within 1 to 2 weeks.

If you experience complications, your doctor may have to prescribe an antibiotic. This will treat a secondary infection, such as an ear infection, sinus infection, bronchitis, or pneumonia. You may also need a prescription cough suppressant for a severe cough.

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I Heard That The Flu Vaccine Was Not Very Effective Why Should I Get It If Its Not Effective

While vaccine effectiveness can vary, studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine. It is also the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness. Remember, if you dont get a vaccine at all, thats 0% effective.

Which Influenza Vaccination Is Best For Older Adults

Looking at the list of available flu shots can be overwhelming. In looking at this years CDC table of available influenza vaccines, I counted eight options that are available for people aged 65 or older:

  • 4 standard-dose quadrivalent inactivated vaccines
  • 1 standard-dose quadrivalent inactivated vaccine manufactured with a newer cell culture-based technology
  • 1 high-dose quadrivalent inactivated vaccine
  • 1 standard-dose quadrivalent adjuvanted inactivated vaccine
  • 1 quadrivalent recombinant vaccine

Only Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent and Fluad Quadrivalent carry an age indication specific to 65 years or older.

However, the CDC does not recommend any influenza vaccine over another, for adults aged 65 or older.

So if you are an older adult, or if youre trying to arrange a flu shot for an aging relative, which flu vaccine should you try to get?

My take is this: if you have a choice, go for one of the vaccines designed for older adults.

Why? Because we know that as people get older, their immune systems tend to respond less vigorously to immunization. And because research suggests that the high-dose flu shot generates higher antibody titers and has been associated with better influenza outcomes.

We do have more research and experience for Fluzone High-Dose than for Fluad, so unless you are enrolling in a clinical trial of Fluad, I would suggest going with the Fluzone High-Dose.

Bottom line:

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Vaccine Safety And Side Effects

Vaccines are very safe, and they can help keep you from getting serious or life-threatening diseases. The most common side effects for all these vaccines are mild and may include pain, swelling, or redness where the vaccine was given.

Before getting any vaccine, talk with a doctor or pharmacist about your health history, including past illnesses and treatments, as well as any allergies. A health care provider can address any concerns you have.

It’s a good idea to keep your own vaccination record, listing the types and dates of your shots, along with any side effects or problems.

Is The Flu Vaccine Safe

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  • The flu vaccine is safe for most people and is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. People who should not receive flu vaccines are those who have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu or other vaccine in the past and those who have had a condition called Guillan-Barre syndrome.

  • If you have questions about your specific medical conditions, call your doctor to ask if its safe for you to get a flu vaccine.

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What Side Effects Can Occur After Getting A Flu Vaccine

  • While a flu vaccine cannot give you flu illness, there are different side effects that may be associated with getting a flu shot or a nasal spray flu vaccine. These side effects are mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of a bad case of flu.

A flu shot: The viruses in a flu shot are killed , so you cannot get flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may occur are:

  • Soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Fatigue

The nasal spray: The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. In children, side effects from the nasal spray may include:

  • Runny nose

  • In adults, side effects from the nasal spray vaccine may include:

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

  • If these problems occur, they begin soon after vaccination and usually are mild and short-lived. A flu shot, like other injections, can occasionally cause fainting. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears. As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injuries, or death.

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