October marks the month when flu vaccinations become available. The flu can make existing health conditions worse and is especially dangerous for people with chronic health conditions, like heart disease and diabetes, which often affect older adults. Seniors with these conditions are more likely to develop complications from the flu that can result in hospitalization and even death.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single best way to prevent the flu is to get an annual vaccination, which is recommended for everyone aged six months and older, with rare exception.
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, if possible by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating in the community, it’s not too late to get vaccinated.
We encourage all seniors to consult with their physicians about getting a flu shot this year.
For more information about this year’s flu season visit: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm