The Importance of This Year's Flu Shot
As we approach the late fall and the beginning of flu season, the importance of getting this year’s flu shot is greater than ever. While getting the flu shot is always important, health experts are urging people to get their shots as promptly as possible this year.
The flu vaccine is critical for people of all ages, but it is even more essential for older adults. Adults aged 65+ account for the majority of hospitalizations and deaths from both the flu and COVID-19. Since this year’s flu season will overlap with the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s shot is a must-have for both personal and public safety reasons.
Here are some of the reasons that this year’s flu shot is so vital.
The Flu Vaccine is the Best Protection Against the Flu
As you might imagine, the flu vaccine is pretty effective at preventing the flu. While it won’t protect you or your older loved one against COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu, which can also be life-threatening for older adults.
The flu shot has a 40-60% prevention rate, but it also works to reduce the severity of the flu. This helps protect patients from serious complications like respiratory failure. While the social distancing and hygiene measures we are taking to prevent COVID-19 should also help reduce the spread of the flu, the vaccination is critical to decreasing the risk of associated medical visits and hospitalizations.
Limiting the Flu Will Help Us Handle COVID-19
We are still struggling to keep COVID-19 under wraps, which means we need all of the resources possible. Huge flu outbreaks will lead to overcrowded healthcare systems and, likely, COVID-19 testing delays.
A 2018 study found that the flu vaccine reduces the risk of being admitted to an ICU with the flu by 82%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If hospitals are faced with serious flu cases, they will have fewer resources to handle COVID-19 patients and testing. Hospitals already face strains due to COVID-19, and flu season is known to stress the system. Controlling the flu is one key to ensuring that we have the resources necessary to treat those who need hospitalization for COVID-19.
Older Adults High Risk
Older adults are in the high-risk group for the flu, as well, meaning that they are more likely to experience severe symptoms or even death. Since older adults are at high-risk for both COVID-19 and the flu, it is key to use the resources we have to prevent both. We do not yet have a coronavirus vaccine, but we have a proven flu vaccine that is known to reduce the risk of contracting the flu and of experiencing severe symptoms.
The high-dose flu vaccine is often recommended for older adults as it is more effective at reducing the flu for them. You should speak to your doctor to discuss the best option for your older loved one.
Getting This Year’s Flu Shot
This year, more than ever, it is imperative to get the flu shot. Anyone able to get the flu shot should do so, and it’s important to make sure that the older adults in your life get it as well.
Even after your loved one has found their safest living option, our dedicated team is still here to help. Contact us today at 866-560-5656.