Despite all the evidence to the contrary, many seniors are still hesitant to receive seasonal influenza vaccinations, believing them to be unsafe or ineffective. Debunking some of these common myths and learning about the importance of this vaccination particularly for seniors is vital for continued health in the community and particularly in senior living communities where contagious illnesses can rapidly spread.
Early Vaccination is Important to Health
Seniors in Apple Valley, California, should consider getting the vaccine as early in the season as possible, with many being vaccinated as early as September. The Autumn is the optimal time to receive the flu shot, but most health care professionals will continue giving the vaccine as late as January or February. Seniors who have received the vaccination once will still need to receive a new shot yearly because researchers change the components of the vaccine each year. In addition, this will keep the individual’s immune response high.
However, seniors who receive the flu vaccine may still catch the influenza virus. This is because numerous strains of the virus exist each year and not all strains may be covered in the vaccine. Complications of influenza may not be as great for those who have received the vaccine. Seniors who believe they may have the flu and who are experiencing symptoms, such as fever, muscle aches, or a headache, should see their doctors as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the illness, the doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication that can shorten the lifespan of the virus and limit complications.