What Older Adults Should Know About the Flu and Other Essential Vaccinations
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
NEW YORK –– Healthinaging.org has released two new, easy-to-understand tip sheets to educate older adults and family caregivers about flu shots, what older adults should do if they get the flu, and other important vaccination information for seniors. The tip sheets are available as a free download on Healthinaging.org.
Healthinaging.org’s Essential Vaccination tip sheet offers expert information on flu shots, as well as other essential vaccinations for seniors. The Flu Prevention and Treatment tip sheet includes preventative measures older adults can take to avoid the flu, and what to do if they get the flu.
“Research shows that older adults who receive an annual flu shot decrease their chance of being hospitalized due to the flu and its potentially serious complications," says Dr. Schmader, Professor of Medicine, Geriatrics at Duke University & Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Durham VA Medical Centers in Durham, NC. “It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective, which is why older adults should get vaccinated as soon as the flu shot is available in their communities—usually in late August or September.”
Older adults should ask their healthcare provider about vaccinations. Vaccines are some of the safest medicines around. Although all medicines, including vaccines, pose the chance of serious side effects, for most people, the risks from the diseases are far greater than the risks from the vaccines.
Healthinaging.org recommends the following vaccinations for most older adults:
- Flu (annually before the start of flu season)
- Pneumonia (Pneumococcal) (once after age 65)
- Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap) (once after age 65)
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster) (once after age 60)
Older adults should contact their healthcare provider or local health department for a list of doctors who give these shots. City or county health departments, or local hospitals, often operate clinics that provide these vaccines. The flu shot is covered for adults over the age of 65 by Medicare Part B with no copay.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION FOR HEALTH IN AGING
The AGS Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA) is a national non-profit organization established in 1999 by The American Geriatrics Society (AGS). The Foundation’s mission is to improve the health of older adults by:
- Providing health information to older adults and those who care for them through Healthinaging.org
- Advocating on behalf of programs and policies that help older adults to lead healthy, active lives; and
- Supporting research on the diseases and disorders of older adults.