Adults Aged 65 and Older Need to Get Their Flu Shots: Here's Why
OCT 26, 2017 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF
William Schaffner, MD, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, explains why adults aged 65 and older need to receive the flu shot.
Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):
"We vaccinate two-thirds of the people in the United States who are aged 65 and older each year, and that’s a terrific achievement, but think about it: that means one-third of the population, 15 million people who are 65 and older still do not avail themselves of vaccination. We have to do better as providers, and I hope we can motivate those individuals to come in and request influenza immunization.
You know, people aged 65 and older have a diminished immune system. It doesn’t work as well; it’s not as responsive as the immune system in younger people, and so, they are disproportionately made ill, they get more serious illness when they’re infected with influenza.
On top of that, people aged 65 and older begin to accumulate a number of chronic illnesses—heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, asthma—and that makes the impact of flu even more serious because all of those chronic illnesses predispose to pneumonia and other serious complications of influenza."
To stay informed on the latest in infectious disease news and developments, please sign upfor our weekly newsletter.
Big advances in treatment can't make up for an inability to stop new infections, which number 5,000 per day worldwide.
Contagion® is a fully integrated news resource covering all areas of infectious disease. Through our website, quarterly journal, email newsletters, social media outlets, and Outbreak Monitor we provide practitioners and specialists with disease-specific information designed to improve patient outcomes and assist with the identification, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases. Our mission is to assure that the healthcare community and public have the knowledge to make more informed choices and have a positive impact on patient outcomes.
2 Clarke Drive
Cranbury, NJ 08512