Flu Shots: Are They Really Necessary Every Year?
FLU. This word spells misery for millions of Americans each year. Also known as influenza, the flu is an acute respiratory infection caused by a variety of influenza viruses. Flu sufferers experience headache, fever, chills, dry coughs, and body aches. Despite advances in prevention and treatment, influenza and its complications cause approximately 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.
So how can you protect yourself from misery? Get a flu shot. The best time to get your flu shot is between September and mid-November. It takes about 1 to 2 weeks after you get the shot to develop protection. Preventing flu is hard because flu viruses change all the time. This year's flu virus usually is slightly different from last year's virus. Every year the flu shot is updated to include the most current flu virus strains. That's one reason why flu shots will protect you for only 1 year. In addition, according to a new study featured in New England Journal of Medicine, when elderly people get vaccinated, they are less likely to be hospitalized for stroke, heart attack, and flu during the flu season.
Who is at high risk for the flu?
Adults 65 years of age and older
Residents of group living facilities
People with chronic disorders of the lungs or heart, such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or cystic fibrosis
Caregivers of adults age 65 and older
People who are less able to fight infections because of chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes or immunodeficiency disorders
To receive a flu shot at home, call Senior Solutions at (314) 726-5766. By protecting yourself, you'll also be protecting those around you this flu season.
St. Andrew's Senior Solutions helps to serve the needs of older adults and their families in the comfort of their home, including housekeeping, transportation, meal preparation, personal care, nursing services and companionship.
For more information, please call (314) 726-5766.