In our day to day efforts to be the best skilled nursing facility in the St Louis Metro East, we try to highlight health-awareness holidays. December 6 begins National Influenza Vaccination Week, a week of focus on a health decision that is near and dear to our hearts because of the large numbers of elderly whom we serve at Mercy Rehab & Care Center.

The CDC’s 2022-2023 Flu Vaccination Campaign actually kicked off in early October to call attention to one of the most important vaccinations for elders.

Beginning this year, in 2022, some notable changes to flu vaccine recommendations point out that there have been decreases in numbers of some populations (children and pregnant people), an overall lower incidence of adults 18-49 receiving vaccines and racial and ethnic disparities in those receiving a vaccine.

It is important to remember that older people are at the greatest risk for severity of influenza. The population over the age of 65 are the most hospitalized and the most at risk for death. Thus, we recommend that people 65 years and older get one of these three vaccines: Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent Vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent Recombinant Flu Vaccine or Fluad Quadrivalent Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine.

It’s important for older adults to understand that the Covid vaccines are unrelated and do not provide any protection from the flu. However, it is also important to note that both Covid and Flu vaccines can be administered at the same time.

Of course, it should also be noted that the CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months old receive a flu vaccine each year. Older people (65 or older) are at an increased risk of long term health impacts because of their generally less robust immune system. Older people are at a higher risk of certain chronic health conditions and the vaccine provides a protection.

For those curious about common side effects of the flu vaccine, they may include:

  • Soreness or redness at the area where you received the shot.
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Muscle Aches

It’s important to be aware of and to take advantage of the availability of these and other vaccines in the United States. Among these are the Shingles Vaccine, Pneumococcal Vaccines, Pneumonia Vaccine, TDAP Vaccine and of course the Covid-19 Vaccine and boosters.

For more information, visit the CDC’s website at: