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NY elders, caregivers urged to get their flu vaccine

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The Office for the Aging urges elders and caregivers to get their flu shot as soon as possible.

Flu season underway and lasting into May, experts say the vaccine is an essential preventive care service that shouldn’t be delayed because of COVID-19.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea.

People infected with the flu may also have respiratory symptoms without a fever. The flu can cause mild to severe illness.

Older adults, people with certain chronic medical conditions, young children, and pregnant women are among those who are at highest risk of serious flu complications, possibly requiring hospitalization and sometimes resulting in death.

“With the holiday season upon us, staying healthy is more critical than ever, particularly for older adults, who are at greater risk for the flu and COVID-19,” said NYSOFA Acting Director Greg Olsen. “Our immune systems are more easily compromised as we age, and older adults, especially those with chronic health conditions, have an increased risk of becoming seriously ill. In addition to following all safety and social distancing guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID, getting a flu shot is vital to protect the health and wellbeing of older adults and caregivers.”

Getting a flu shot is particularly important for those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, which can mimic flu symptoms.

While the flu vaccine does not specifically protect against COVID-19, it is highly recommended to maintain overall health and protect against other respiratory illnesses.

To find a location near you to get a flu shot, please visit vaccinefinder.org.

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