As we age, our immune system ages, too.Our risk of getting infections increases, and the severity of these infections can be greater, too.1 In fact, people aged 65 years and older who get the flu may be more likely to experience serious complications or even death.2 What’s more, if you have a condition like diabetes, heart disease, COPD, or asthma, you may be more likely to experience complications from the flu, and getting the flu may potentially make your condition worse.4 Vaccines may not protect everyone, including people aged 65+ years.3,4 You should talk to your doctor about any health conditions or risks that may apply to you.
The facts are there.In the 2014-2015 flu season, hospitalizations among people aged 65 years and older hit the highest number recorded since 2005.5 And about 90% of people who die from the flu are aged 65+, too.2
These numbers are not meant to scare you, but to move you to act and get a flu shot every year. There is a new flu shot designed to target your needs—FLUAD—and you can read more about it on this site.
In the meantime, test your knowledge below.
Myth or fact?TToday's 65+ population is more active and vibrant than any other “65+ generation” before them. The percentage of people aged 65 years and older who get the flu these days is basically the same as in younger adults.
Myth or fact?Washing your hands frequently can protect you from getting the flu.
Myth or fact?Waiting to get my flu shot will help my immunity last longer into the flu season.
Myth or fact?Side effects from the flu shot are worse than the flu.