Now is the time to get a flu shot, before the peak of the flu season which occurs in February most years.
For older adults who have chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, the earlier you get your vaccine, the better, as older adults often have more complications from the flu than younger people.
Pregnant women should also get the flu shot early. Pregnant women have complication rates from flu as high or higher than older adults. The good news is a vaccinated mother also protects the baby for the first 6 months of life.
If you’re afraid of needles, there is a nasal spray alternative, although the nasal spray has been shown to be less effective than the shots.
Older adults are sometimes misdiagnosed when they really have the flu. Often times, older adults don’t develop classic-influenza signs like fever. The symptoms are often explained away as a worsening of other chronic conditions. If you feel bad enough to go to a doctor during the flu season, ask that he/she test you for the flu.