December 6th – 12th marks National Influenza Vaccination Awareness week. So here is your friendly, yet firm reminder: If you haven’t received your flu shot yet, get it now!
Seniors 65 and older have a higher risk of catching the flu, and also have a higher risk of developing more serious illnesses generated from the flu.
This is why health officials are advising seniors to take preventative measures to reduce the risks of contracting the flu. There are going to be major concerns whether an illness is the flu, or Covid-19.
The flu vaccine will not prevent Covid-19, but, for many, especially seniors, getting a flu shot this year is particularly important because influenza is a respiratory virus. We need to do everything we can to minimize having two respiratory, potentially life-threatening illnesses.
How to prevent the flu
Get your shot! It’s never too late. You can take preventative measures every day to avoid contracting the flu. Getting your flu vaccination is the first step. You may get your flu shot with your regular physician, or even some pharmacies.
The Center for Disease Control recommends receiving one flu vaccination per year. For seniors, there are two vaccines available:
- High dose flu vaccine – These flu vaccines contain four times the antigens as a regular flu shot. Clinical trial results show that in adults over 65, there was 24% less flu-related illnesses compared to those who received the standard dose vaccine.
- Adjuvanted flu vaccine – This vaccine is made with MF59 adjuvant, and this additive can help you create stronger immune responses.
Be aware of other dangerous illnesses. We would also like to remind you that as a senior, contracting the flu increases your chances of contracting other, more dangerous illnesses such as pneumonia. So not only is it important to speak with your doctor about getting your flu shot but speak with them about receiving a pneumococcal vaccination as well.
“Did you wash your hands?” Parents would ask this after returning home or handling something outside of your home, but boy, is it the question repeated multiple times through the day now! Remember to continue the protocol we have all been advised of over the last year or so. Preventative measures to illness are limiting exposure, washing hands, sanitizing, wearing masks…while it may seem like a part-time job, these heightened hygiene protocols have been implemented to keep you safe and, these are all things that can reduce your personal risk of contracting the Flu, Coronavirus and other infectious diseases.
What to do if you think you have the flu
If you are feeling symptoms of the flu, contact your medical care provider immediately. If for some reason they are unavailable, please call your home caregiver if you have one. Of course, if you are feeling your situation is emergent, please call 911.
Remember, we are here to help! Our in-home caregivers and private duty nurses will still come to your home and care for you should you find you have the flu.
You will likely have questions and concerns during this uncertain time. Your physician and home care provider will be the best resource to monitor your well being.
We all heal and recover faster, and more efficiently, when we have someone to care for us, so don’t be shy! Give us a call. We are here to answer your questions, even if you are not presently in our care.
We are wishing you and yours good health!