While we are all awaiting news of the upcoming Covid 19 vaccination, there are positive steps we can take right now to stay healthy. Don’t skip your fall/ winter visit to the doctor for your annual flu vaccination. For seniors 65 and older, there is a higher risk of hospitalization and death from the flu virus. Even healthy Seniors are more likely to suffer from the flu virus than younger people, because as our bodies age, our immune systems weaken. On top of that, as we age, we tend to develop other health issues, and become less active.
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated annually, close to October, because it takes around 2 weeks for the vaccination to protect us. The protection from the flu virus wears off around a year, and as the vaccine is developed specifically to protect us against the most likely viruses for that year, we should not skip a year! However, the Pneumonia vaccination is a bit different.
Pneumonia, just like the flu can lead to severe illness, hospitalization, and even death, increasingly as we age. The pneumonia vaccination is not yearly, but your physician may recommend more than one. The CDC has great information to help people learn about the pneumonia vaccination options– there are 2 different kinds. It is important, as always, to educate yourself, and discuss your best option with your physician.
Everyone seems to be more active in prevention this year than ever! We know to wash hands, or use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available. We are wearing masks and covering our coughs. We are staying in and limiting exposure. But we can also take action in our day to day choices to strengthen our immune system- it may decrease our illness severity if we do get exposed. We can make it a priority to eat healthy, get good sleep, reduce our stress, and exercise regularly.
Always talk with your personal physician or therapist before beginning a new diet or exercise program, but be encouraged that there are positive steps you can take to set yourself up for a healthy winter.
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