Spreading the news about the flu to senior citizens

Are you flu-aware?

For older adults, it’s more than a casual question.  Patients aged 65 and older account for nine out of 10 influenza-related deaths, so it’s important for seniors to know about the dangers of flu, the importance of annual vaccinations, and available vaccination options.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is leading the charge to educate older adults about the threat of influenza and the importance of immunization through a new awareness initiative called Flu + You.

The NCOA is collaborating with Sanofi Pasteur to encourage early immunizations, as soon as the vaccine becomes available each year. Despite years of recommending flu shots for older adults, the government says immunization rates are still far below public health goals.

The body’s immune system and its ability to fight illness decrease with age, which means that older adults are more vulnerable to influenza and its related complications. As we age, the likelihood of developing other chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, COPD, and diabetes, also increases, and having one or more underlying chronic conditions further increases the risk of influenza-related deaths in older patients.

For older adults, especially people aged 65 and older, an annual flu shot is critical and might even be life-saving.

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