Mark your calendar – Flu shot – Shelby Sun

On Monday you have a hair salon appointment, on Wednesday it’s dinner at Martha’s place and Friday morning is your flu shot appointment at the pharmacy. If the last appointment is missing you better mark your calendar.

Last year 2 of every 5 seniors in Tennessee missed getting a flu shot.

Studies show that there is a big difference between those who have gotten their flu shot and those who have not.  Those who have gotten the flu shot have a 51% reduction in hospitalization for pneumonia and influenza, and they have 29% reduction in congestive heart failure. The health system saves $117 dollar per person who is vaccinated among the elderly.

The have not’s expose themselves to great risks. Non-vaccinated elderly experience more deaths from pneumonia and flu and they lose out on a service which is free to all Medicare patients.

The most common reason seniors give for not getting a flu shot is, “I don’t need the vaccine.”  This is absolutely false. Everyone who is over 65 or has a chronic medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease needs to be vaccinated. Only exceptions are those individuals who have had a serious allergic reaction to eggs or to a previous dose of the vaccine.

The second reason seniors give for not getting vaccination is, “the flu shot doesn’t work”. Again this is wrong. The flu shot reduces your changes of getting the flu by 50 percent, and if you do get the flu it is significantly milder.

The third reason seniors give for not getting the flu shot is, “the flu shot will give me the flu.” This is impossible. The virus is a killed virus not a live virus. It may cause a sore arm and some fatigue but not the flu.

So this season mark your calendar and get your shot at your doctor’s office, at the pharmacy, or at various clinics across town. Have a shot and enjoy a flu-free winter.