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Flu shots for adults 65 and older

Schedule your flu shot today.

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As summer turns to fall, you need to start thinking about getting your annual flu shot. Flu shots are important because adults 65 years and older can get serious illnesses from the flu. The flu shot will help protect you and the ones you love.

As you age, your immune system, or how well your body protects itself, gets weaker. So if you get the flu, you have a higher chance of going to the hospital. For most flu seasons, older adults make up 70% to 85% of flu-related deaths each  year.1

Flu shots reduce the chance of getting sick

A good way to reduce your chance of getting the flu is to get a yearly flu shot. This helps you make antibodies, which will help you fight the virus if you are exposed.1

Best time to get your flu shot

The best time to get your flu shot is between September and the end of October1,2 before flu season starts. This is because it takes two weeks to get full protection from the vaccine. Flu season is usually from November through the end of April. You can get the flu vaccine anytime during the flu season. That’s why it’s never too late to get vaccinated.

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Ask your medical provider about the benefits of the Flucelvax® shot

  • It's egg-free and latex-free.
  • It's grown in animal cells vs. eggs. This means it's more like the flu virus we are trying to protect you from. 
  • It's as good as the high-dose vaccine at reducing hospital visits due to the flu. 

There are small differences between the flu vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not prefer one flu shot over another. The most important thing is to get a flu shot every year.

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Other ways to protect yourself from the flu

We urge you to:

  • Limit contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Try not to touch your face.
  • Ask your doctor about getting the pneumonia shot, if you have not yet had it, and see if it's right for you.

If you still get the flu, get help

Whether you’ve had the flu vaccine or not, get medical care right away if you have any of these symptoms:1,2

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or stomach
  • Long periods of feeling dizzy or confused
  • Fever that can’t be reduced with over-the-counter medicines or is getting worse
  • Not peeing
  • Your symptoms get worse
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Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People 65 years and older and influenza. Accessed June 15, 2021. 
  2. Grohskopf LA, Alyanak E, Broder KR, Walter EB, Fry AM, Jernigan DB. Prevention and control of seasonal influenza with vaccines: Recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices — United States, 2020–21 influenza season. MMWR Recomm Rep 2020;69(No. RR-8):1–25.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine. Accessed June 15, 2021. 

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.

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Schedule your flu shot today. Don’t wait. 

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Get your flu shot at an Optum Care location near you.

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