A recent post on the Sunrise Senior Living blog carried a recommendation from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that all seniors should get the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine) “as soon as it is available in their region.”
Michael Gelder of the Illinois Department on Aging concurs with the CDC’s advice, citing the vaccine as “seniors’ best defense” against the flu, particularly during this time of year and given the fragility of older adults’ immune systems, making it more difficult to fight any contracted illness. He also recommended seniors check with their physicians regarding a recommendation for the pneumococcal vaccine.
Seniors who got a flu shot last year should still get it again, since the new formulation will offer better protection overall, in addition to warding off new strains of influenza.
Typically, seniors can visit clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, local health departments, and doctor’s offices to get the flu shot. Often, independent living, assisted living, and other senior care communities will set up flu shot clinics in their facilities too, providing protection for staff and residents alike.
To learn more about why the vaccination is important, or to understand the risks/possible reactions, check out the CDC fact sheet. Also, check out our blog posts on the flu and alternatives to the vaccine.