New Flu Shot For Seniors
October 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
This summer the FDA approved the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine formulation that will be produced and distributed this flu season. The vaccines will target 3 different strains of the influenza virus that the public health community believes will cause the most illness this year.
While several different manufacturers produce the vaccine under many different brand names, one new vaccine of particular interest is the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine. This flu shot was formulated specifically for people 65 years of age and older. As we age, our immune defenses are weakened thus making us more susceptible to severe illness caused by influenza. Unfortunately our bodies’ ability to fight off influenza decreases, which is why the higher dose vaccine was created. The shot is described as higher dose because it contains four times the amount of antigen that regular adult vaccines contain. Antigen is the part of the vaccine that encourages the body to make antibodies to fight the flu. The high level of antigen helps older people have a stronger immune response to influenza.
The CDC recommends getting the vaccine as soon as it becomes available in your community because it takes the body about two weeks to build up immunity. The immunity will last throughout the entire flu season. If you are contemplating not getting the flu shot, remember that you are not only protecting yourself from illness but you will be preventing the speard of the flu to your family and friends.
Besides getting a flu shot, the influenza website flu.gov also recommends the following steps to staying healthy this season:
– Avoid people who are sick with the flu
– Stay home when you are sick
– Cover your coughs and sneezes.
– Wash your hands often
– Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth
– Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food
For more information on the flu vaccine or to schedule your flu shot, contact your primary care doctor.
The Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC is a law firm located in Sandwich, Illinois. We focus on elder law and Life Care Planning for our clients. Our office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.