Why the flu shot is vital as we age

May 14, 2020

Whether you’re a retiree or not,  for many of us 2020 has already been the most challenging year on record. But unfortunately—global pandemic or not—flu season hasn’t been given a leave of absence this year.

Did you know people aged 65 and older are at high risk from contracting influenza and associated complications? In fact, most fatal cases of influenza are retirees.

With most cases of influenza occurring over a two-week period in winter/spring, flu vaccines are usually scheduled around March. This allows for the 14-day period for your body to develop antibodies. It’s not too late to get a flu vaccination, but you must act quickly.

It’s important to know that regular flu shots may not be as effective in retirees when compared to the younger population. Older people will only develop around 50 to 75 per cent of the antibodies (which protect against the vaccine antigens) when compared to younger people. This is where a high dose vaccine will compensate for this difference of antibody levels in older people after getting a regular shot. In fact, one study found almost 25 per cent fewer cases of proven influenza in adults aged over 65 on a high dose vaccine compared the standard.

But flu season also means limiting transmission of the influenza virus—a bitter pill we all must swallow. If you have a loved one in an Retirement Living and Aged Care community, we understand how difficult and emotional isolation and distancing can be. For family and friends, seeing your loved ones is so important. However, if you visit them while you’re feeling sick, you may introduce a host of viruses and pathogens into the centre – with potentially serious consequences. Staff at all Tulich Family Communities can help you stay connected with your loved one remotely via phone, email or Skype/video conferencing until you’ve fully recovered.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, please consult your own legal, financial or health advisors before making any decisions.

Want more great tips and ideas for retirement living?

Visit Your Sanctuary by Tulich Family Communities for all the latest—from financial planning to health and wellbeing.

Back to Home