Influenza, or the flu, is a serious respiratory illness that is easily spread from person to person. While anyone can get the flu, certain groups are at increased risk of flu-related complications, including adults 50 years of age and older and people living with chronic medical conditions.
Currently, about 70 percent of adults ages 50 to 64 have one or more chronic illnesses such as heart disease, asthma or other lung disease, diabetes and cancer. When combined with the flu, these chronic medical conditions can become worse and cause serious illness, hospitalizations and even death.
Directly, flu can worsen symptoms of respiratory disorders such as asthma and chronic pulmonary disease (COPD) and can lead to pneumonia. Studies have also found an increased risk of heart attack and stroke following a flu infection. In spite of these dangers, vaccination rates for those 50+ remain below recommended levels, and vaccine options are misunderstood.
That’s why the American Lung Association, in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, has launched the MyShot campaign with the goal of educating people ages 50+ about the dangers of the flu and the importance of vaccination. The campaign will empower people ages 50+ to take ownership of their health and ask their doctor about flu shot options that might be right for them. It’s not only important to get vaccinated to protect yourself, but also to help prevent spreading the disease to those around you.
For more information visit GetMyShot.org