Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) urges seniors and older Americans to receive their flu vaccine this year as the cooler months begin to approach. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, almost 40 percent of seniors ages 65 and older did not receive the flu vaccine last year despite their increased risk of infection.

Seniors are at increased risk of infection from the influenza virus year round, even though flu season severity can vary. As the body ages, the immune system naturally weakens and this puts seniors in a zone of easy infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 80 to 90 percent of flu-related deaths occurred in patients 65 years or older, and between 50 to 70 percent of flu-related hospitalizations have affected people in that age group.

Practicing common hygiene techniques is also a great way for not only seniors, but residents of all ages to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“Preventative actions such as covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and frequently washing your hands can help guard you from the flu.” said Priti Kolhe, Director of Immunizations at CDPH. “However the best way to protect against influenza is to receive an annual flu vaccine.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine and getting it is more convenient than ever before. Vaccines are available between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, at the Marietta, Acworth, East Cobb and Douglasville Public Health locations.  No appointment is necessary.