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Shots for Seniors

Children aren't the only ones who need shots. For seniors, healthcare providers recommend that older adults receive vaccinations for flu, tetanus, pneumonia, chickenpox, and other diseases. These diseases can be much worse in older adults than in children and may even lead to death. Shots for seniors are safe and typically don't cause any problems beyond mild soreness or redness at the injection site.

An Overview of Shots for Seniors

Many adults figure that since they had shots as children, they do not need them as an adult. This may be one reason why hundreds of thousands of needless deaths occur each year. However, there are a number of shots for seniors that can help prevent serious diseases and even premature death. Some of these shots (immunizations) that are strongly recommended in older adults include shots for:
 
Shots for Seniors: The Flu Shot
An annual flu shot is recommended for people who are 50 or older. Flu -- the short name for influenza -- is a highly contagious infection. Flu symptoms include:
 
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Extreme fatigue.
     
Flu is usually a mild disease in healthy children, young adults, and middle-aged people. However, it can be life-threatening in older adults.
 
Flu viruses change all the time. For this reason, you need to get a flu shot every year. To give your body time to build the proper defense, it's important to get a flu shot between September and mid-November, before the flu season usually starts.
 
Although flu shot side effects are slight for most people, some soreness, redness, or swelling may occur on the arm where the shot was given. About 5 to 10 percent of people have mild flu shot side effects such as headache or low-grade fever, which last for about a day after vaccination.
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