Importance of Flu Vaccine for the Elderly

A report from Science Daily has just confirmed what medical professionals have been saying for decades; the flu vaccine is essential for the elderly population.  According to this report, published three days ago by Science Daily the need is even greater for those elderly individuals who are in the ICU:

“An influenza vaccine does not just work when it comes to influenza. A new study shows that elderly people who have been admitted to an intensive care units have less risk of dying and of suffering a blood clot or bleeding in the brain if they have been vaccinated. And this is despite the fact that they are typically older, have more chronic diseases and take more medicine then those who have not been vaccinated.”

That’s the good news (that it can really help).  The not so good news is that not enough people in this demographic are taking advantage of it.  Less than 40 percent of Europeans are having the vaccination. Further, according to Christian Fynbo Christiansen of Aarhus University Hospital, through which the study was published:

“We can’t say with one hundred per cent certainty that the risk of a stroke and dying is lower solely because of the vaccine. But we can see that the elderly people who have been vaccinated do better in the event of critical illness. This suggests that it would be good if more elderly people received the vaccine. Not least because the vaccine is both safe and inexpensive.”

It is clear that more education and information needs to be imparted – especially to the elderly demographic – on the importance of this oft-life saving vaccine.