Why Are Flu Shots So Important?

flu shots are important for seniors

Flu season is upon us and it is extremely important that seniors and those with certain health issues get vaccinated as soon as possible.

FAQ’s About Flu Shots

When Can I Get The Flu Shot?

  • Get your flu shot now – Flu shots can be given generally from September through the entire winter. The sooner you get your shot the better.

When is flu season?

  • A typical flu season lasts 7 to 10 months – Typically the flu season begins around October, however it can occur as early as September and can last as late as May.

I’ve had the flu shot before and got very sick because it’s a live virus.

  • You cannot get the flu from the flu shot – Many years ago flu shots originally contained the live flu virus; however, shots are no longer a live virus! You may get some mild side effects but you shouldn’t get the flu from getting your shot.

What are the common side effects?

  • Side effects are minimal and short term –  The most common side effects of the flu shot include soreness and redness in the area where the shot was given, possible low grade fever, and aches.

Are there really any true benefits for seniors to get the flu shot?

  • Don’t be a statistic –  Seniors make up to 90% of all deaths caused by the flu, so the true benefit is literally life saving. This flyer from the CDC/government website can hopefully help you realize why getting your flu shot is so important!

Are all shots the same?

  • There are many ways to get a flu vaccine – There is actually a special shot this year that is offered specifically for those 65 and over. Ask your physician if he has this particular shot and if you could benefit from getting the senior flu shot.

Can I still get the flu even I get a shot?

  • Yes, there is the possibility of getting the flu – Some people can still get the flu; however, it’s most likely that the flu will be a type that you aren’t vaccinated for and not the flu that vaccines cover for this specific year. Your chances are much lower of getting the flu and the elderly are highly susceptible for a harder battle when they get sick with the flu.

How safe is the flu vaccine?

  • The vaccine is extremely save in most cases – You should consult your physician regarding whether it is safe for you to receive the flu vaccine and what type. You can read more about flu vaccine safety here.

It’s important to get your flu vaccine as soon as possible. Consult with your physician to determine when and what type of flu vaccine is best for your situation, as not all people are good candidates.

Because those 65 and older are the largest group of people who die from the flu, you want to make sure you are taking as many precautions as possible.


Photo by GovInslee