Flu season is here!
People ages 65 and older are at higher risk of serious complications from the flu compared to their younger counterparts. This is because our immune systems become weaker as we age. Each year, more than 60 percent of hospitalizations related to the seasonal flu in the United States occur in people 65 years and older.
Here’s what you can do to help protect yourself against the flu:
1. Get Your Flu Shot
A flu vaccine protects against flu viruses that are predicted by researchers to be the most common viruses of the season.
If you are 65 years or older, you have two flu shots to choose from – a regular dose flu vaccine and a newer flu vaccine with a higher dose designed for people 65 and older. Although the high dose vaccine is associated with a stronger immune response to vaccination, researchers are not sure whether the stronger immune response results in greater protection against the flu in older adults. The CDC and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has not endorsed one vaccine over the other.
2. Wash your hands often, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and avoid people with the flu.
3. If you develop flu symptoms, visit a healthcare professional immediately to see whether you might need medical evaluation or treatment with antiviral drugs.
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Vomiting and diarrhea sometimes occurs.
For more information on flu vaccines, please visit: