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Want to Beat the Flu? Seniors, there is a Specific Vaccination for You!

What are the symptoms?

Remember this acronym:

F- fatigue

A- aches

C- cough

T- temperature (fever)

S- sudden onset

 

The Flu vaccine covers the virus that effects the respiratory system (nose, throat, lungs).  The annual flu vaccine does not cover the “stomach flu”.  This virus causes diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills and headache.

Can I get the Flu from the vaccine?

No, because the vaccine is a “killed” virus. The body recognizes it and builds up immunity even though it is not a “live” virus.  People who get sick right after getting the shot were exposed to an illness previously.

Who should get the vaccine?

The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone from 6 months old and older get vaccinated annually, even pregnant women.  It takes two weeks for the body to build up immunity from the shot.  The site can get swollen and red after the injection.  Massaging it, using over the counter pain medication and ice can help.

It is even more important for aging adults that are 65 or older because of decreased antibody levels that decline over time.  Typically this population also has chronic medical conditions such as Asthma, Cancer, Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and kidney/liver problems.  These diseases set up individuals for a greater chance of complications. This is why the older adult vaccine is intended to provide more coverage because it is manufactured to address 4 different viruses.

Who should not get the flu vaccine? 

Most flu vaccines contain egg proteins which is fine for those with mild egg allergies.  For severe egg allergies that include hives, facial swelling and difficulty breathing, consult with your doctor. 

How can we reduce the risk of getting the flu?

Believe it or not, frequent hand-washing is still the best way to avoid getting sick.  Disinfecting surfaces that are touched multiple times a day can also help.  Obviously, staying away from people who are ill is a good idea.

Lisa BushmanComment