Aging Parents, Prepare for Flu Season

flu-photo-300x300.jpgSummer is barely over, yet aging parents and others need to start planning ahead: Flu season is just around the corner, so getting a flu shot soon is a good idea.

Not a Real Season

Although we all tend to use the term "flu season," the fact is that a person can catch influenza at any time of the year — and aging parents and other seniors are more likely than younger people to catch the flu at any time.

Still, in the U.S. the flu is most widespread during the period between October and April, with peaks typically occurring between December and February.

With that in mind, pharmacies have already begun receiving the newest round of vaccines for the current season. The general recommendation is that, because people over 65 are more susceptible to the flu, aging parents and others in that age group should be vaccinated. Still, it may be a good idea to check with one's doctor first in case there is any reason a flu vaccine would not be advised in a specific case. (For example, people with egg allergies should talk with a doctor before getting a flu shot.)


Some people worry that a flu vaccination is not going to be effective. The fact is that no vaccine is 100% effective against any condition, and that is true of influenza vaccines as well. But studies do show that those who receive a flu shot are much less likely to contract the flu or to suffer as severe a form if they do contract it.

One study showed that a person was 71% less likely to require hospitalization from flu-related issues if they had received the vaccination; the figure was even higher (77%) for adults over the age of 50.

Getting the Shot

Some doctors provide flu shots to their patients, but others do not. In that instance, a person should check with the local pharmacy to determine if it is offering shots. (It's also a good idea to check in advance about whether the shot is covered by an individual's insurance plan.)

An online resource is available to help individuals find a location near them that provides the flu vaccine (as well as many other vaccines, if one wishes to investigate other vaccinations).  It can be accessed at​.​

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