Why your older parent should get a flu jab?
Flu can be fatal
Many people assume that getting flu is just like getting a bad cold, but in actuality, it is so much worse. Flu can be severe, with high fever, chills, headaches and sore muscles and often confines people to bed for several days. For the elderly, flu can be fatal.
Flu is viral
Flu is a virus and therefore cannot be treated with antibiotics, as these only combat bacterial infections. However, bacterial infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, may develop as a consequence of flu and antibiotics would be used to treat these medical conditions.
A flu jab will not give you flu
Some people believe that having the flu jab will give them flu. This is not the case. The flu vaccine contains inactivated flu viruses, so it cannot cause flu. At most, you will have a sore arm for a few days. The vaccine works to stimulate your immune system to create antibodies to combat flu. Some people believe taking Vitamin C will be good enough to prevent flu, but unfortunately, it won’t.
You need an annual flu jab
You need to have a flu injection annually, as the viruses are not the same every year. This year’s injection (2014, also protects against swine flu. If you’ve already had flu this year, it’s still very important to get a flu jab, as there are various strains you can catch.
How to get a flu jab for your elderly relative
Flu jabs are available now, so do make sure your older relative gets one as soon as possible to protect them from flu over the coming winter. The injection is available from the NHS free for all people over 65 and for other groups deemed to be at risk.
For more information on getting a flu jab for someone over 65, contact your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist.