The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging senior citizens to get a flu shot before the end of October. As people age, they become more susceptible to viruses such as influenza, so it is more important than ever for them to get vaccinated.
Recently, three vaccines have been approved for older people: Fluzone High-Dose Equivalent, which has four times more antigens than the standard dose and is shown to be effective in reducing hospitalizations from the flu; Fluad, an additive which is used to improve the immune system’s response to the vaccine; and Fluad Quadrivalent, which is a higher-dosage version of Fluad.
The CDC found that vaccinations are effective in reducing illnesses as a result of the flu, as well as the number of hospitalizations and death. Statistics from the agency found that 50-70% of those hospitalized with the flu are 65 years old and older. Of those who died from the flu, 70-85% were in the same age group.
It is also recommended that seniors with long-term health conditions receive the flu shot. That includes those with asthma, diabetes and chronic heart disease. The flu can actually exacerbate these medical conditions, putting seniors at risk.
In addition to receiving a flu shot, there are other ways that senior citizens can protect themselves from the flu. This includes washing their hands frequently, staying away from others who may be ill, getting plenty of rest, exercising, drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthy foods. Those who are sick should remain in bed and avoid being around those who don’t have the flu.
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