If you're 65 and older, the flu prevention message for you this year is simple: Get a flu shot as soon as you can.
Everyone 6 months and older is recommended to get a flu vaccine. But as a person 65 or older, health officials urge you in particular to get a flu shot right away. Anyone can get the flu, but some people are at greater risk for serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia, that can lead to hospitalization and even death. This is especially true for adults 65 and older, because the body's ability to fight illness drops as you age. In fact, each year in the United States, about 9 out of 10 flu-related deaths and more than 6 out of 10 flu-related hospital stays occur in adults over 65.
You may have seen the recent studies which have shown that the vaccine may be less beneficial for people 65 and older than for those who are younger. This is for the same reason that people 65 and older are at greater risk of serious flu illness: their body's immune system is weaker and less able to mount a protective response. However, a flu vaccine offers the best defense available to protect against flu and its complications.
Flu vaccine supplies are plentiful, but you should get a flu shot as soon as possible, as the timing of influenza outbreaks is unpredictable and it takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014