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Senior News Line: The flu and you

With this year’s flu season in full swing, it is critical that people, especially seniors, get the flu vaccine to protect against infection and help prevent the spread of seasonal flu to others. It is never too late to get your flu shot.
With this year’s flu season in full swing, it is critical that people, especially seniors, get the flu vaccine to protect against infection and help prevent the spread of seasonal flu to others. It is never too late to get your flu shot.

Here we are, halfway through winter, and the flu season is in full swing. As of now, all 50 states have widespread levels of flu. And at this point far too many people still haven’t gotten their flu shot.

The senior version of the shot, for those over age 65, has four times the amount of vaccine of three of the four types — two A and one B.

While this isn’t ideal — it’s still missing one B — it’s what we have. The high-dose vaccine was created to give our bodies a high immune response.

Because of our age, we’re in the high-risk group for complications, even if we don’t have any medical concerns. Seniors had more hospitalizations from flu than any other age group.

At this writing there have been more than 6,000 deaths from the flu. How many of these could have been avoided by getting the flu shot?

One big concern is that it’s possible to be contagious and pass the flu to others days before someone starts to feel sick. Going to the grocery store, attending church, reading to kids at the elementary school, there are too many opportunities to give the flu to others — or have them give it to you — before anyone even suspects they have it.

But it’s not too late to get the shot. Even if it doesn’t keep you from getting the flu, it will keep you from getting as sick as you might have.

A delay can arise in areas where they’ve temporarily run out of the flu vaccine. Don’t let that stop you.

To get your flu shot, call your doctor’s office, call the local pharmacies and call the closest senior center. You’ll find the vaccine somewhere.

No matter what, wash your hands frequently and keep them away from your face.

2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

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