The beginning of fall marks the start of flu season and a reminder to get your annual flu vaccine. Adults 65 years and older can develop serious complications. The flu vaccine will help protect you and the ones you love; friends, family and co-workers. So even if you don’t think you need it for yourself, do it for those you love.
Do you need a flu shot?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost everyone age 6 months and up, especially children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and anyone with a weakened immune system or chronic condition (like COPD or congestive heart failure).
What you should know about the flu
Older adults have a higher chance of developing complications from the flu. You are more likely to be hospitalized because of flu. Older adults account for 70–85% of flu-related deaths each year.
The best way to reduce your chance of getting the flu is to get a yearly vaccine. Vaccines introduce a weak or inactive virus and help your body to produce antibodies. Antibodies help you fight against the virus if you get exposed.
When should I get vaccinated?
The ideal time for a flu shot is in the early fall, before the end of October.
Get your shot before flu season begins, earlier, so you and your family are prepared.
Egg-free flu shots are available
If you’re allergic to eggs, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if the egg-free alternative is right for you.
Why doesn’t the flu shot always work?
There are many strains of influenza. The flu shot protects against many of the common seasonal strains. Usually 3 or 4 strains are in a flu vaccine. Even if different types of the virus spread, getting a shot can lessen the severity of the illness.
What else can I do to protect myself from the flu?
- Limit contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often.
- Try not to touch your face.