FLU SHOTS FOR ELDERLY
ANCHOR LEAD: DO FLU SHOTS REALLY HELP OLDER FOLKS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Flu shots may not help older people avoid the flu or it’s complications, says a recent study in the Lancet. But, Michele Bellantoni, a geriatrician at Johns Hopkins, says the study underestimates the length of the typical flu season.
BELLANTONI: My other concern with this article is it does not address the issue of younger adults as part of the group of individuals who need to be vaccinated in order to see the health benefits in the older adults. For example here in our inpatient services and nursing facility patients, they receive their flu exposure from their visitors and from our staff members, and they are less likely to result in having the flu if the younger adults who visit them have been vaccinated. :28
Bellantoni recommends that older folks continue to receive flu shots annually and encourage their family members of all ages to do the same. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting