The cold and flu season is upon us. If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, we urge you to schedule your vaccination promptly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend flu vaccinations for all people age 65 and older. (Certain allergies and medical conditions may make you ineligible for a flu shot. Always check with your healthcare provider before obtaining vaccinations.)
Flu season runs from October through May.
The best time to get a flu shot is before the influenza virus strikes your area. Numerous strains of influenza infect our planet and are constantly changing. Each year, scientists attempt to predict which strains of the virus are most likely to spread through the world's populations. Annual flu vaccines are formulated to protect against the most anticipated flu strains. If one strain of the influenza virus strikes your community, a flu shot may still protect you from other virus strains. For that reason, healthcare officials recommend getting a flu shot even if the flu is already active in your community. In other words, it's never too late to get your flu shot!
This year two vaccination options are available:
- The regular-strength vaccine, or
- A concentrated vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose) that contains four times the antigen amount of the regular vaccine. Formulated to support people with impaired immune systems, some healthcare providers are recommending the high-dose vaccine for their patients 65 and older to combat the natural weakening of the immune system that occurs as we grow older.
Both vaccines are covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Check with your healthcare provider to find out which dose is right for you.
Kendal at Oberlin residents should schedule flu and pneumonia shots promptly. Members of Kendal at Home and Senior Independence should check with their caregivers for information about flu and pneumonia vaccinations. You can also find vaccination locations at flushot.healthmap.org.