Flu Prevention in Older Adults

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Healthcare Worker Administering Flu Shot To Older Adult
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Flu Prevention in Older Adults

October 08, 2021
Older adults are at greater risk for serious complications from influenza, or the “flu.” With the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants still active across the country, vaccinations are more important than ever.

While the seasonal flu can impact anyone, flu-related deaths and hospitalizations are much more common in those over 65. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts are predicting a harsh flu season this year.
 
“The two best things for older adults – and, really, all of us – are to get your annual flu vaccination, and follow the guidance for COVID-19,” says Dr. Emily Rogers, center medical director at InnovAge PACE - Aurora
 
Here are a few tips to protect against the flu throughout the pandemic:
  1. Get your flu shot. The flu virus contributed to 52,00 deaths annually between 2010 and 2020, but the vaccination saves approximately two to three million lives each year. If you’re eligible, both flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered in the same visit. The CDC recommends getting the flu shot before November 1.
  2. Follow all COVID-19 precautions. Get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you haven’t already. If you are eligible and your primary care physician recommends it, get a booster shot. Avoid being around people who are sick and if you're sick, stay home. If you leave the house, wear a mask and physically distance six feet from people outside of the household.
  3. Be aware of germs. Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, nose, and mouth. Cough into elbows instead of hands, and practice proper handwashing.
“It’s so important throughout this pandemic for all of us – not just older adults – to be vaccinated against the flu, COVID-19, and all other possible infections,” says Dr. Rogers.
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