This year, the most prevalent health concern has been the coronavirus, and rightly so. COVID-19 has ravaged Florida, our nation and our world, making it the most worthy subject to be examined.
What must not be overlooked in 2020, however, is the dangerous impact of influenza during this treacherous time of coronavirus. Pharmacological scientists are following President Trump’s “Project Warped Speed” to develop a safe and effective vaccine – in record time - to help protect Americans against the deadly COVID-19 virus. But what about the flu?
I have found 5 falsehoods and facts regarding seniors and flu vaccines that are worth discussing:
Falsehood: Seniors are more likely to contract the flu after getting a flu shot.
Fact: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], flu vaccines contain a small amount of inactive influenza virus, which is incapable of causing the flu virus in seniors or anyone who gets a flu shot.
Falsehood: Flu shots are the same formulation every year, so it’s not important to get vaccinated annually.
Fact: Scientists develop new vaccines based upon their knowledge and experience concerning what influenza strains could be problematic in any given year or flu season.
Falsehood: Seniors should wait to get a flu shot until the actual flu season revs-up in the “winter” months of December or January.
Fact: It is always best for seniors to be proactive about their health and take preventative measures, like getting a flu shot, sooner than later. The sooner seniors get a flu vaccine, the sooner they will attain a level of protection from the season’s flu virus strain, and this protection is scientifically-designed to last for an entire year.
Falsehood: Seniors with Medicare coverage must see their primary care provider to get a flu shot or Medicare won’t pay.
Fact: Any healthcare facility, pharmacy or clinic that accepts Medicare can administer a flu vaccine at no cost to the senior patient. Just make sure the convenient option you choose does, in fact, accept Medicare.
Falsehood: Asymptomatic seniors (seniors with no symptoms), cannot spread the flu virus.
Fact: Just like COVID-19, which has demonstrated to be much more aggressive than the flu, asymptomatic carriers of the flu virus are capable of spreading it to others. According to Harvard Medical School, “20% - 30% of people who have the influenza virus have no symptoms.”
It is important for seniors to know the truth about flu vaccines and understand the importance of getting a flu shot to stay healthy and flu-free! Just as seniors continue to be the most vulnerable to contract the coronavirus, they, too, are most likely to be infected with active influenza virus strains, especially if they have underlying health conditions and compromised immune systems.
A compassionate Home Helpers® caregiver can safely assist seniors who need help with transportation to get a flu shot, or someone to provide specialized recuperative care for seniors recovering from the flu, COVID, surgery or injury.
If you are concerned about your senior loved one and their risk of contracting the flu or the coronavirus, my team and I understand. Please read more about the specialized training our staff has received and Home Helpers® official COVID-19 response to this public health crisis, and know we will follow CDC guidance during the upcoming flu season.
I am available to schedule a FREE Consultation, at your convenience, to assess specific needs, and find a highly-trained and skilled caregiver to provide non-medical in-home care, 24/7/365. Call me today for more information: 727.942.2539.
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠
Harvard Medical School