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Understanding the pros and cons of the seasonal flu shot

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Influenza is often quite serious for people 65 and older.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot.

According to the CDC, it’s estimated that between about 70 percent and 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in that age group.

Scientists make the vaccine before the flu season starts by predicting which flu strains are likely to be the most common during the upcoming season.

The CDC recommends that everyone get a seasonal flu vaccine each year by the end of October, if possible. Flu activity typically peaks in January or February.

There are some potential downsides to receiving the flu shot.

People with severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine cannot get the flu shot. This might include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients.

Mild side effects include soreness, redness and possible swelling from the shot. Headache, fever, nausea and muscle aches are also listed as possible side effects.

It takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccination for your body to develop immunity. During this time, you can catch the flu. You can also still catch the flu if there wasn’t a good match when predicting the seasonal flu strains.

Talk to your health care provider for more information about the flu vaccine.

Hearthstone Communities : 920 North Seminary Avenue, Woodstock, IL 60098 :

815.338.2110 : www.hearthstonewoodstock.org

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