McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 16, 2013

Okla. health officials: Seniors have high flu risk


Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma health officials are urging seniors to get a flu shot because they have a higher risk for developing flu-related complications.

Health officials say people with a weakened immune system, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and cancer are at the highest risk. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and older.

Seniors have three options for vaccination. The trivalent flu vaccine, which helps protect against three strains of the flu virus, the quadrivalent flu vaccine, which protects against four strains, and the higher-dose flu shot designed specifically for people 65 and older.

The flu vaccine is offered at local health departments as well as health clinics, pharmacies and retail stores. Most health plans and Medicare cover the flu shot’s cost.