It’s recommended every year that people receive the flu vaccine, why? Every flu season you walk into your doctor’s office, and they are always asking you if you would like a flu shot. What is the purpose of even getting it?
Each year, thousands of adults in the United States get sick from diseases that could have been prevented if the person would have been vaccinated. As we age, our immune system weakens, even if we are healthy and active. This alone can put older adults at risk for flu-related complications. The flu can make existing health conditions worse, which is especially dangerous for people with chronic health conditions, like diabetes.
To just give you some statistics, 86% of adults 65 and older have at least one chronic health condition, 20% over the age of 65 have diabetes, and 68% of older adults have two or more chronic health conditions.
Once a person with diabetes gets sick from the flu, they may see an increase in their blood sugar numbers, it can prevent the person from eating properly, and even lead to flu-related complications, like pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections, often resulting in hospitalization and sometimes, even death. Even if you get the flu after receiving the flu shot, the symptoms usually aren’t as serious.
According to the CDC, the single best way to prevent the flu is to get an annual flu vaccine.
Flu vaccination is a Medicare benefit with no copay. Talk your primary care provider about flu prevention and vaccine options.