information provided by the Illinois Department on Aging
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (October 2, 2020) – For older Illinoisans getting a flu vaccine during the 2020-2021 flu season is especially important, advises the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA). The vaccine can protect people from the flu, thereby helping to reduce the strain on healthcare systems, keeping hospital beds and other medical resources available for COVID-19 patients.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the elderly and people with chronic health problems are much more likely to develop serious complications after flu infection than are young people and people in good health. This risk is due in part to changes in immune defenses with increasing age.
Flu vaccination is especially important for older Illinoisans, individuals with underlying medical conditions, and people with disabilities because they have an increased risk of developing serious complications from the flu, coupled with being at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Flu vaccines are updated each season as needed to keep up with changing viruses. Also, immunity wanes over a year, so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against flu.
Paula Basta, Director of IDoA, said, “This is another instance of being able to plan for what you can and focus on things you can control; take precautions now so you don’t regret it later.”