Seniors Reminded To Get Flu Shots

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Because of an increased likelihood of hospitalization related to flu-related complications, South Carolina's senior citizens are encouraged to get their flu vaccinations, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

"While it is important for everyone over the age of 6 months who wants to reduce their risk of illness from flu to get a shot, more than 60 percent of influenza-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 years of age and older, " said Jerry Gibson, M.D., director of DHEC's Bureau of Disease Control. "The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that adults age 45-64 are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized due to complications of the flu than younger adults."

"Those hospitalizations include illnesses related to pneumonia and influenza as well as the complications from flu symptoms that affect the lungs and heart," Dr. Gibson said. "Each year, several hundred South Carolinians die of the flu. During a particularly bad flu season, that number can reach a thousand."

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According to Dr. Gibson, the best way for seniors to protect themselves and their families from flu-related complications is to get a flu shot. This year's vaccine supply is plentiful.

"Flu is a serious respiratory disease, especially for older adults," Dr. Gibson said. "Despite a prevalent myth, you will not get the flu from the flu shot."

He also reminds seniors that you can prevent the spread of the flu by covering your cough, washing your hands thoroughly and often, and staying home when you are sick.

DHEC is one of many flu shot providers. Check to see if your medical practitioner is offering flu shots as well. Prices for the shots vary, however at DHEC clinics, there is a $25 charge for the vaccination, which Medicare and Medicaid will cover for those who are eligible. Don't let price affect your decision to get a flu shot. Ask us how we can help.

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