Here is another article about things going on around Rochester.
According to a report by USA Today, the percentage of elderly Americans who receive flu and other vaccinations has been slowly decreasing. With the fall flu season close at hand, doctors are concerned about the disappointing trend.
On average, between 5 and 20% of Americans come down with the flu each year. While vaccination rates for children have been substantially raised, the rate of vaccination for elderly adults continues to be stuck at a low rate. This results in millions of older adults who are hospitalized and raises the risk of elderly fatality.
”Progress has been barely visible,” says Dr. Bruce Gellin, director of the Health and Human Services Department National Vaccine Program Office.
Along with flu shots, many elderly citizens have been avoiding other important vaccinations, such as the shingles shot. Shingles leave patients with rashes all over their face and body and can leave them with pain that can last for months. This condition can be very dangerous and cause other complications in the elderly, including loss of vision.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in every three seniors skip the vaccine each year. According to their latest estimate, between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans die from complications with the flu. In addition, many seniors are missing other important vaccinations, such as shingles, pneumonia, and tetanus.
Gellin believes that the varying effectiveness rate of the vaccine may be a major cause of the slow rate. Last year’s flu vaccination was a dud, as it only helped reduce the chance for flu by around 19 to 25%. However, doctors stress that if a flu shot doesn’t prevent the flu, it will more than likely help reduce the symptoms.
In addition to the lack of motivation, CDC’s associate director for adult immunization Dr. Carolyn Bridges blames the lack of vaccination recommendation by doctors.
”Primary care doctors think vaccines are important, but… it’s difficult for them to incorporate vaccination into giving routine care,” Says Dr. Bridges. She believes that many physicians don’t make vaccinations a priority.
Flu shots are recommended for all members of the family, aged six months or older. This year’s flu shot is currently being distributed in a variety of different locations. If you are looking to get a flu shot in the Rochester area, visit your local pharmacy, medical clinic, or urgent care center.
To look for a flu shot distributor in your neighborhood, visit the Monroe County flu site for flu vaccination providers near you.