Annual influenza (flu) vaccination is advised to help reduce flu and flu-related complications.
This is an adjuvanted vaccine. That means it contains an ingredient that stimulates the immune system, making it more effective against flu in older people. It is being offered in Ireland for the first time this year, but a similar vaccine has been used for several years in various countries including the UK and USA.
Those aged 65 years and over can contact their GP or local pharmacy to make an appointment.
Everyone can get the flu, but individuals 65 and older are at a higher risk of complications and hospitalisation from the illness.”
Adults’ immune systems deteriorate with age. Older persons are more likely to experience significant flu complications, such as pneumonia and hospitalisation. However, there are additional concerns that might not be as clear. For people 65 and older, the flu increases the risk of heart attack by 3-5 times and the risk of stroke by 2-3 times in the first two weeks of illness. For several months, the risk is still high. If you are 65 years of age or older, you have a six-times greater risk of dying from the flu and its consequences. Your risk of heart attack and stroke is reduced by receiving the flu vaccine.
Check out our infographic below which takes a further look into influenza in older adults, the importance of flu vaccines, and how to cope with the flu.