For adults 65 years and older, the seasonal flu can be deadly. Each year in the U.S., deaths from flu-related causes range from 3,300 to 48,600, and more than 200,000 are hospitalized from serious flu complications. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and older. We are more at risk because we are more likely to have health conditions such as: asthma, arthritis or lupus, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart or kidney disease or morbid obesity. These health conditions either compromise our immune systems or make us more susceptible to developing flu-related complications. These complications might cause other serious conditions like pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, dehydration, acute respiratory disease, or stroke. How do we take action and protect ourselves?

Get a Flu Shot

Since it takes the body two weeks to build up immunity, it is important to get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available in your area. Getting vaccinated will protect yourself, your spouse, children, and grandchildren.

This season, people 65 years and older will have two flu shots to choose from – a regular dose flu vaccine and a new flu vaccine with a higher dose, designed specifically for older adults. A stronger immune response is the reason behind the new vaccine. Both vaccines will protect against the same three viruses.

Remember: The flu vaccine is safe and effective. The influenza viruses in the shot are inactive; therefore, you can’t get the flu from the vaccine.

Where to Get Flu Shot

CVS/pharmacy MinuteClinic is accepting appointments as well as walk-ins at some locations. Shots are $29.95 and most insurance plans are accepted. Call your local CVS/pharmacy for more information, or make your appointment online.

Take Care clinics at select Walgreens are open 7 days a week with no appointments necessary. Flu shots are $29.99 and most insurance accepted. Call your local Walgreens for more information or find one near you online.

Target pharmacists are also providing Flu shots for $24 and most insurance is accepted. Call your local Target Pharmacy or find your flu shot location online.

Fight the Flu:

Talk to your doctor about which vaccine is right for you. Also seek medical attention if you develop flu symptoms such as: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms for some people, but not all. It is also common for some people to be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Fight the Flu this season by taking steps to prevent it by getting your vaccination early!

Carrie Robertson
Research & Community Education

Chicago Senior Living
Assisted Living in Chicago

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