When flu season arrives, you may begin to notice signs posted on the doors of family physician offices, clinics and pharmacies letting people know that the flu vaccine is available. This is to allow those who want the shot the opportunity to get it as early as possible. The flu vaccination helps make the immune system stronger and may prevent those who get it from getting the flu. While this vaccine is beneficial for all ages, it is particularly helpful to those who are in their senior years. These are some reasons why it is important for seniors to get an influenza vaccination every year.
Their Immune Systems May Be Weak
As people age, their immune systems usually become weaker. This is often triggered by the onset of other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or neurological conditions. If the immune system is weak, a person is more likely to catch communicable seasonal diseases like the flu.
However, getting the influenza vaccination can boost the immune system so that this does not happen. Even those who may have other severe health conditions may be able to avoid the flu by getting a flu shot.
Preventing Multiple Strains of the Flu
In recent years, there have been different strains of the flu that have been discovered. Some of these are very dangerous and even life threatening to the elderly. It is now possible to combine vaccines for each strain into one shot. Seniors are commonly given a high dose flu vaccine that has more antibodies that can ward off these various strains.
Fighting Off Other Potential Illnesses
When an elderly person contracts the flu, it may lead to additional serious illnesses. It is not uncommon for elderly people who do not get immediate treatment at the first sign of flu symptoms to develop pneumonia or bronchitis. These pulmonary conditions are especially dangerous for those who are older. By getting the flu vaccine, it may prevent seniors from developing these conditions as well.
The influenza vaccine does not guarantee 100% that you will not contract the flu. However, it does highly increase the likelihood that you will not get the flu during the flu season that you have the shot. Some people may still get a mild case of the flu, but symptoms are much less severe if they have taken the vaccine. By getting a flu shot every year, those strong antibodies that fight off the flu will remain in your system and help keep your immunity stronger.
For more info, speak with a family physician in your area.