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, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse
A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community posted on Apr 14
When it comes to our daily commute, we could all use a little inspiration. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to encourage employers in eastern Massachusetts to participate in the 2014 Walk/Ride Corporate Challenge — an annual competition that encourages workers to use …Continue Reading A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community