Officials Fret That Older Adults Are Skipping Flu Shots

Photo by Ruslan Guzov / Shutterstock.com

Flu season is upon us, and with it comes reminders from officials and experts urging you to get a flu vaccine.

Influenza virus activity often starts to pick up in October, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It usually peaks between December and March before the season ends as late as May.

The CDC as well as the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and other public health and medical organizations recommend that everyone age 6 months or older get vaccinated against influenza every year.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden explained during the NFID’s latest annual news conference about flu season:

“Getting a flu vaccine is important for all of us, for our own protection and for the protection of those around us who may be more vulnerable to flu, such as young children, people with certain chronic health conditions and the elderly. Flu can strike anyone and it can strike hard.”

Frieden received a flu vaccine later during the news conference, after presenting estimates from the 2015-2016 flu season, which were recently published by the CDC.

Overall, vaccination rates dropped to 45.6 percent of the entire U.S. population. That means about 144 million people got vaccinated and reflects a decrease of 1.5 percentage points from the prior flu season.

The biggest drops in vaccination rates were among older people:

  • 43.6 percent among people age 50 to 64, a decrease of 3.4 percentage points
  • 63.4 percent among people age 65 and older, a decrease of 3.3. percentage points

Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the NFID and professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, explained these decreases are especially concerning because older adults are disproportionately affected by the flu.

During the 2014-2015 season, for example, nearly 1 million people were hospitalized due to the flu, and more than three-quarters of them were age 65 or older.

Schaffner continued:

“Vaccination not only reduces the chance that older adults will get the flu, it can help keep them out of the hospital by reducing the severity of the infection and related complications if they do get the flu.”

Do you plan to get a flu shot? Sound off below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
16 Affordable Products That Could Save Your Life
16 Affordable Products That Could Save Your Life

You’ll want to order these sometimes surprising products from Amazon ASAP.

21 Thrift Store Gems You Can Cash In On
21 Thrift Store Gems You Can Cash In On

Here’s what to look for at that overstuffed thrift store — and how you can make money from it.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

7 Things I Never Buy at Costco
7 Things I Never Buy at Costco

A bulk buy isn’t always the best buy. Here’s where I shop for these items instead of a warehouse club.

12 Products to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized
12 Products to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized

These items will help put your vehicular mess to rest — and each is available for less than $20 on Amazon.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020
20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020

These practical products made everyday life a little easier last year — and will do so in the new year, too.

10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate
10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate

Clever shoppers can save money without sacrificing quality. Here is how to do it.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.