High-dose flu vaccine can protect our loved ones 65 & older

As flu season approaches, doctors are reminding people to get their flu shot, especially if you are 65 years old or older. What a local doctor and pharmacist say the risks are that seniors face.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As flu season approaches, doctors are reminding people to get their flu shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu shot is the best protection against the flu, especially for those who are over 65 and at risk of developing serious complications. According to the CDC, between 70% and 85% of flu-related deaths and between 50% to 70% of flu-related hospitalizations are among those 65 years and older.

Joyce Hanson, a Jacksonville resident, said she plans to get her flu shot ahead of flu season.

“We always get our flu shots at Publix because you get your ten dollars card but we are doing our groceries by Insta-cart now so we both have regular doctors appointments in September, we’ll get our flu shots at our doctor’s office this year,” Hanson said.

Dr. Albert Holt , Chief Medical Officer at Memorial Hospital, said there is a high -dose vaccine for those over 65.

“They found that with older people, 65 and older, that those patients frequently have less of an immune response so they created a high-dose quadrivalent vaccine for 65 and older that makes it so they can generate a better immune response that puts them at greater success in terms of fighting off the flu,” Holt said.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many people in the high-risk age group have been staying home, but CVS Pharmacy Manager Bita Bijanfar said doctors’ offices and pharmacies are safe places to get the flu vaccine.

“We’re taking extra measures this year, including making sure we have proper social distancing. All of our pharmacists and health care providers are wearing PPE during the immunization process, including facemasks as well as face shields,” said Bijanfar. “We’re going to be also cleaning the immunization area between each patient.”

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and chills. The CDC recommends seniors who start to have any of these symptoms should call their health care provider right away.

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