‘MyShot’ Encourages Seniors to Get Their Flu Shot

Sanofi Pasteur and American Lung Association say flu vaccines are the best prevention available against infection
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The American Lung Association (ALA) is now urging seniors over 50 years of age to get their annual flu shot. 

While anyone can get the flu, certain people are at increased risk of flu and flu-related complications, including adults 50 years of age and older. 

To enhance this message, the ALA and Sanofi Pasteur, are collaborating through its new ‘MyShot’ campaign, which shares the personal stories of seniors. 

The MyShot campaign reinforces the need for adults 50 years of age and older to talk with their healthcare providers about flu shot options that may be right for them. 

“Even though I have chronic asthma, I never thought I needed a flu shot. I had never gotten the flu before and never worried about it. Then, last season, I got the flu twice. It made my asthma worse and stopped me in my tracks,” said JoJo O’Neal, a 53-year-old radio host, in an ALA press release.  

“Not only did I put my own health at risk, but I passed the flu to my sister who has a chronic lung disease and she passed it on to her daughter.” 

“I understand now that my choice not to get vaccinated was selfish. I’m making my annual flu shot a priority and, through MyShot, I’m encouraging everyone else to do the same.” 

The flu is not just a bad cold. 

It can lead to severe, sometimes life-threatening illness, and other health problems such as pneumonia, exacerbation of heart disease – including increased risk of heart attack or stroke – and even death. 

“If you end up getting the flu, being vaccinated may help make your symptoms milder and help you avoid more serious consequences,” said MeiLan Han, M.D. American Lung Association volunteer medical spokesperson. 

“Getting the flu can cause serious illness with lasting impact for some people, including longer-term disability and increased risk for other serious health events like heart attack or stroke. I recommend vaccination to all of my eligible patients, and hope through this campaign to educate others on how to help protect themselves.” 

There are several vaccine options available, including some specifically designed for older adults. 

Seasonal flu vaccines cause protective antibodies to develop about 2 weeks after vaccination. 

Which means, these antibodies need time to enhance your immune system against the viruses found in the vaccine, says the CDC. 

For the 2018-19 flu season, the CDC’s vaccine committee recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older, with any licensed, appropriate influenza vaccine (IIV, RIV4, or LAIV4) with no preference expressed for any specific vaccine.     

In the USA, flu shots can be scheduled at most community pharmacies using this app.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector prices for general information.

Flu vaccine discounts can be found here.

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.