Getting vaccinated is your best defense.
The idea of getting a flu shot may conjure images of kiddie Band-Aids and school health forms, but immunization is just as important for older folks as it is for younger populations. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of six months get an annual flu shot, the vaccination is especially important for older adults. That’s because this group is at high risk for serious flu-related complications like pneumonia.
Problem is, many older adults aren’t convinced they need a flu shot. “The most common misconception is that it doesn’t work,” says Amesh Adalja, MD, board-certified infectious disease physician and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. “While it’s true that the flu vaccination [isn’t one of the most effective] vaccines, it is the chief means of preventing the flu.”