What You Should Know About the Flu and Shingles Vaccines

Flu Season—What you need to know 

People who are 65 years or older and very young children are generally at greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. For these two groups, the body’s natural defense is slightly weaker than that of a young, healthy adult. Taking preventive measures before and during flu season is important for everyone, especially those who fall into the higher risk groups.

Actions to take during flu season

  • Get a flu shot: The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine. A vaccine helps the body protect itself against the most common flu viruses during the upcoming season.
  • Guidelines this year indicate that only the injectable flu shot be administered
  • Practice healthy and hygienic habits: Covering coughs, washing hands often, and avoiding people who are sick.
  • Seek medical advice if you develop flu symptoms

Shingles—What you need to know

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had and recovered from chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles. Though, it is slightly more common for older adults to develop shingles. The varicella zoster virus remains dormant in the body, but it can be reactivated years later, causing shingles.

Shingles Vaccine

The only way to reduce your risk of developing shingles is to get vaccinated. The CDC recommends that people ages 60 and over receive one dose of shingles vaccine. It is also recommended that anyone 60 and over should receive the vaccine whether or not they recall having the chickenpox.