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Your school days may have ended long ago, but you still need to get your shots.

Most active older adults beyond their early parenting years associate immunization schedules with items to be tended to for infants through teens. But boosters don’t necessarily impart lifetime immunity. You need to get booster shots throughout life, and you need some shots each year to ward off ailments and illnesses.

For example, flu shots are recommended for older adults (and most everyone else, too) each year. Anyone 6 months of age or older in good health should get a flu shot, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control.

Low-cost to free flu shots are available. For example, Walgreens is offering vouchers for free flu shots to customers without health insurance or who could not afford to receive a shot otherwise, according to a release. Call (800) 925-4733 to find Walgreens with vouchers. The company has allocated $10 million for the program, with vouchers available on a first-come, first-served basis.

You need to get an actual shot if you’re older than 49, pregnant, or have a chronic condition. A nasal spray vaccine is available to all others. Ask your doctor about which vaccine you should take.

The CDC reports that you may be able to get a flu shot even if you are experiencing symptoms including diarrhea, minor upper respiratory tract bugs, or if you have had a mild to moderate local reaction to a previous dose. You may also be able to get the shot even if you are recovering from an acute illness or are undergoing antimicrobial therapy. Of course you need to check with your doctor regarding any concerns.

Get your shot soon: It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop to a stage where you have protection, according to the CDC.

 

Resource guide

Adult immunization scheduler: Centers for Disease Control tool to determine what you need and when:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/Schedulers/adult-scheduler.html

Flu shot finder, a guide to locations offering flu shots, is available from the Centers for Disease Control:
http://flushot.healthmap.org/

Why immunization: Basic information on importance of continuing immunization programs:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/why.htm

Take a quiz: Learn what vaccines you need by age:
http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/adultImmSched/

Influenza tracker: Learn where flu is active:
flunearyou.org

Guide to influenza: Everything you need to know about influenza prevention and coping with a case of the flu: http://www.flu.gov/FLU

WHAT IS FLU?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Influenza is a contagious disease caused by a virus that may be spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact. Itís most common between October and May in the United States.

Symptoms are similar to those in a cold, but usually more severe. They may include fever, a cough, sore throat, a stuffy or runny nose, fatigue, aches and chills.

It may be especially severe if youíre older than 65, have a chronic health condition, are pregnant, or in children. People in those groups, and people who are in regular contact with them should receive a flu shot, according to the CDC.

SAY NO TO MR. FLU!