This post is made possible by the American Lung Association, in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Why Older Adults Need The The Flu Shot
Right now we’re in the thick of flu season. Are you vaccinated? Did you know that by getting vaccinated, you are also helping to protect your loved ones?
The flu is dangerous but can be even more so for certain groups of people. Pregnant women, young children and older adults are among those most at risk. Since many older adults actually have chronic illnesses, it can be a double whammy.
The American Lung Association has partnered with Sanofi Pasteur to launch the MyShot campaign to help educate adults 50 years of age and older about the importance of receiving an annual flu shot. Some of the statistics coming out of the campaign were surprising.
I never realized that roughly 70% of adults ages 50 to 64 have at least one chronic illness and in recent seasons, 80% of hospitalizations due to flu were from adults 50 years of age and older. Conditions such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes combined with complications from the flu can lead to worsening symptoms.
Even more seriously, people with asthma or COPD are at risk of developing pneumonia by contracting the flu. Studies have also shown that there is an increased risk of heart attack or stroke in the few days following a flu infection.
All of this proves the point that the flu can be very dangerous. My husband and I get our flu shots not just to help protect ourselves but also to help protect those around us. We regularly spend time with other family members and if we were to catch the flu, we’d be putting them at risk too.
What Are The Benefits Of The Flu Shot
Though the flu shot doesn’t guarantee you won’t get sick, it’s still the best way to help protect against the flu. Even if you still contract the virus, you’re potentially lessening the symptoms of the flu. This could also prevent complications, hospitalization and even death. For older adults, this is especially important since they may not have the means to pay for expensive hospital bills.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a flu shot annually because the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time. This is because the strains of flu and the subsequent vaccines can vary from year to year. Older adults should consult with their doctor about the different types of flu shots that are available.
You can get a flu shot at your doctor’s office, a pharmacy, or even retail stores that have in-house pharmacies. The American Lung Association’s MyShot campaign makes it easy to find a location through its website. To find out where vaccines are available in your area, speak to your health care provider or check out the Vaccine Finder on GetMyShot.org. It’s also a great place to hear real-life stories from people who have experienced the flu firsthand.