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New flu vaccine available for seniors
NEWSCHANNEL 3 A brand new flu vaccine is now available to senior citizens.
People age 65 and older will have two options this flu season.
They can either get a regular-dose flu shot or the new higher dosage vaccine designed just for them.
According to scientists, a higher dose of antigen in that shot will give older people a better immune response.
Whether or not that means greater protection against the flu has yet to be proven in clinical trials.
At any rate, health officials say either shot is better than no shot at all because seniors are at greater risk of severe illness from the flu.
No matter your age, health officials are urging people in Michigan to get a head start on protecting themselves from the upcoming flu season.
Flu shots take about two weeks to work, so doctors say it's important to get one now instead of a few weeks from now with the outbreak of influenza.
Influenza is expected to peak here in West Michigan towards the end of December or beginning of January this year.
In addition to getting the flu shot, health leaders have some simple tips to protect yourself from the flu.
They say it is important to wash your hands, cover your cough (with your arm or elbow instead of your hands to avoid spreading germs) and make sure to stay home if you are sick.
If you would like to get a flu shot, they are available at most pharmacies, through your doctor and also at health and community services clinics.
Flu shots are recommended for everyone age six months or older.