Monday, October 19, 2015

Flu + You 2015

Learn more at www.ncoa.org/flu.
The National Council on Aging and Sanofi Pasteur have teamed up to create the Flu + You campaign.

The purpose is to educate older adults and their caregivers about the following:

- The seriousness of influenza

- The importance of prevention

- The available vaccine options


Is influenza really a problem?

Yes.

[Note: This post does not offer medical advice. Its purpose is to raise awareness.  Consult a licensed medical professional to learn more about safeguarding your health against flu.]

Last year (the 2014-2015 flu season) recorded the highest hospitalization rates among people 65 + in recent history. (Flu + You Fact Sheet)

Award-winning actress Judith Light (b. 1949) briefly explains some of the key points:


Flu + You has collected a number of facts to help illustrate the importance of influenza vaccination.

The Seriousness of Influenza
  • Symptoms of the flu often include high fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches. 
  • Each year in the US, more than half (50-60%) of flu-related hospitalizations and almost all (90%) of flu-related deaths occur in people 65+. 
The Importance of Prevention
  • Flu vaccinations prevent hospitalizations!  It is estimated that during the 2013-2014 flu season, nearly 50,000 hospitalizations were averted due to vaccinations in those 65+.  
  • Many older adults have increased risk of complications due to weak immunity systems due to age or chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. 
The Available Vaccine Options
  • Flu vaccination is a Medicare benefit with no copay. Both vaccine options (nasal and regular shot) are widely available at a doctor's office of a local pharmacy. 
  • Older adults have flu vaccine options – including the regular flu shot and a higher-dose vaccine developed specifically to address the age-related weakening of the immune system.
Talk to your primary care physician about getting a flu shot early in the flu season, particularly if you have a chronic health disease or if you are over 65.

Related:

World Thrombosis Day 2015
Causes of Death in the US for those 55-64

15 comments:

  1. Good info.; good resource. I got my flu shot 2 weeks ago. Didn't even get a sore arm this time.

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    1. The early bird gets the highest probability of protection. Woo hoo!

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  2. I did get mine as I have for every year.

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  3. Thank you for reminding all of us of the importance of flu shots. I know people who are afraid of potential side effects, but there's much more to be feared by ignoring the benefits of the vaccine. I'm also believe pneumonia and shingles vaccines are worthwhile--esp for those who are 65 and older.

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    1. I do acknowledge there are side effects. But statistically speaking, I am more likely to be harmed by NOT getting the shot than by getting it. And because I volunteer with older adults, I absolutely do not want to be a carrier, so I wash my hands a lot and get vaccinated.

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  4. I always worry about this with my kids, but never think about me getting the flu. I have to pay more attention. Thank you for this.

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    1. Talk to your health care professional to see what he / she recommends. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of your kids! (Well, that's the logic I use about myself.)

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  5. we're just coming out of flu season in Australia - it hits people pretty hard when they come down with it and I agree that a flu shot can save a lot of suffering if you are prone to getting sick.

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    1. Leanne: Thanks for visiting the blog from Australia. I am sorry that many people were hit hard with the flu in your area. All my best for more prevention and better health next year. All my best to you.

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  6. We get ours every year and this year got our shots before we took off for Santa Fe. Let's hope it's a mild season.

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    1. I am happy to read that it's a habit. I got a flu shot. Does this mean that I can go to Santa Fe, too? (My nest is not quite empty. Give me a few years, and maybe I will travel.) All my best to you, dear Carol.

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  7. This is great information for those who don't want to get a flu shot! I'm sending your post to a few friends I know who don't think its necessary. Here's to a flu free season.

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  8. Great tips! I have mine scheduled tomorrow!

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