As the weather gets colder, the number of illnesses individuals can be exposed to increases, especially for those who have compromised immune systems. This includes elderly individuals living in senior living communities. It is often recommended these individuals get a flu vaccine so they can rest assured they will have a healthier winter. However, there are many misconceptions that surround flu shots, which can make those who need them steer clear, putting their health at an unnecessary risk.
One of the biggest reasons seniors avoid getting a flu vaccine, even when recommended by senior care services in OKC, is because they think it may make them ill. This is simply not the case. The flu shot does not contain the live flu virus, which means it can’t cause the recipient to catch the flu from the shot itself. There are two ways this vaccine is made. One method is by using an inactive virus. Other vaccines don’t contain the flu virus at all. Regardless of the process used to manufacture the vaccine, the truth remains it can’t give you the flu.
Some people think they only need to get their flu vaccine from senior care services once every few years because the vaccine doesn’t change. However, this isn’t the case. Each year, the CDC looks at the flu strains that are most likely to circulate through the population. These strains are what is used to create the vaccines you receive, which means each year, it is tailored to a different set of flu strains. Getting the vaccine every year will ensure you are protected against the types of flu you are most likely to acquire in a given year.
There are many locations that offer flu vaccines, including pharmacies and senior living communities. Many seniors are under the impression they have to visit their doctor’s office in order for the flu vaccine to be covered by Medicare. This isn’t typically the case. In fact, the elderly can get their flu vaccine in the most convenient location so they can get the protection they need without worrying about whether they will need to pay for it out of their own pocket. If submitted properly, it should still be covered by Medicare.
You will begin to see the flu vaccine advertised starting in the early fall season. Many people feel this is too early to get the vaccine, leaving them vulnerable to the ailment at the end of the season. Instead, it is best to get the vaccine as early as you can. Once you have built up an immunity to the year’s strains of the flu, you won’t have to worry about catching them in the future. Therefore, you can feel confident it will cover you throughout the flu season, regardless of how early you get it. The protection will not wear off.
If you’ve been hesitant to get the flu vaccine for your aging loved one, contact us. Our senior care services in OKC will ensure your senior relative is fully protected from this illness.