The flu shot is the most effective way to protect against seasonal flu. This is why, each year, millions of people get the influenza vaccine.
The senior flu shot is a vaccine designed specifically for adults 65 and up to protect them from the flu virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, seniors require stronger protection because their immune systems weaken with age, putting them at a higher risk of serious flu-related complications like pneumonia, other respiratory problems, hospitalizations, and even death. The flu can also exacerbate chronic conditions common in the elderly, such as diabetes,
asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of six months receive an annual flu vaccine.
The senior flu shot is thought to be safe, but it may cause minor side effects related to inflammation and the immune system. Side effects are more likely in people who receive the high-dose flu vaccine than in people who receive the standard flu vaccine. Seniors may experience the following symptoms in the week following vaccination:
- Soreness, tenderness, redness, or swelling at the injection site.
- Headache or muscle aches.
- Feeling tired.
According to the CDC, you should consult a doctor before administering a senior flu shot to a loved one if they have any of the following conditions or reactions:
- A previous allergic reaction to the flu shot
- A fever
- A serious auto-immune disorder
Did you know?
The annual flu vaccine is especially important for people 65 and older, who are at the greatest risk of becoming seriously ill from the flu. People 65 and older account for half of all flu hospitalizations and at least 70% of flu-related deaths.
For seniors, three flu vaccine options are preferred, including high-dose flu
vaccines and adjuvanted flu vaccines. Any of these vaccines are available to people over the age of 65. This age group is not recommended for the nasal spray vaccine or standard-dose flu vaccines.