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Influenza and Older Adults

Influenza (flu) can be serious for everyone – but for adults age 65 years and older, the risk of flu-related complications and hospitalization is particularly high.

Immune systems decline as adults age. Certain vaccines are available to help boost immune response, specifically in adults age 65 years and older. Older adults are at higher risk of serious flu and flu-related complications including pneumonia and hospitalization. But there are also other risks that may not be as obvious—flu increases the risk of heart attack by 3-5 times and stroke by 2-3 times in the first 2 weeks of infection for those 65+. The risk remains elevated for several months. And for the record, getting your flu vaccine lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke. This all adds up to a six-times higher risk of dying from flu and related complication if you are age 65 years and older.

Annual influenza vaccination is recommended to help prevent flu and flu-related complications.

Additional Resources

Are You That Guy?

NFID public service announcement (:30 animated video) developed to create awareness about influenza prevention