National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 6 to Dec. 12, so if you haven’t gotten your flu shot already, it’s time to get vaccinated! It’s not too late!
The flu vaccine is especially important for older people, who may be at greater risk of serious health complications that can be caused by the flu, such as pneumonia or stress to the body that can irritate or worsen existing conditions. People considered to be at high risk for the influenza virus include those who are age 65 or older, women who are pregnant and children younger than 5. For older patients especially, contracting the flu can lead to hospitalization, serious health complications and – in the most severe cases – even death. Thousands of people die each year from the flu or complications caused by the flu, according to the CDC.
Even if you have already been sick with the flu this season, you can still benefit from the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine actually protects against three or four different flu viruses. If you’ve already had one bout of the flu, your body now has antibodies that will prevent you from contracting that same strain again, but the flu vaccine can offer you additional protection against the other strains of the virus. That’s why it’s still important – even if you’ve already been sick – to get the vaccine.
The flu virus is always changing, which is why the vaccine is updated annually to protect you against the most recent and prevalent strains of the flu. That is why you must get your vaccination every year. The vaccine you may have received last season will not necessarily protect you from the strains that have become prevalent this year. Getting the latest inoculation will protect you against the latest types of flu that are problematic this season.
The flu virus is usually the most active in the United States between December and February, meaning that now is the time to schedule your vaccination appointment. If you’re unsure where to get your vaccination, call your primary care doctor’s office or visit a local pharmacy as many of these locations offer flu shots throughout the flu season or will have information on available vaccine clinics.
At Your Own Home Senior Care, we offer a variety of services to help people stay in their homes and take care of routine housework, keep up on medications or provide transportation to doctor’s appointments – including trips for a flu vaccination. For more information on our senior home care services, give us a call today at 302-478-7081.