Extra-strength flu shots for seniors

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 5:11 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - With the flu season now in full swing, seniors are being encouraged by healthcare providers to get a little extra protection from an extra-strength vaccine.

Bridget Joseph is a local senior from the Lake Charles area and says she didn’t always get the vaccine, “At one time I would not get the flu shot, and every year I’d end up with the flu, sometimes twice a year.”

Joseph says it wasn’t until a healthcare provider encouraged her to get the shot that things took a turn for the better. Now, it’s been 10 years.

“Once I started getting the flu shots, I hardly ever get the flu, and that they have the one for us senior citizens that’s a little stronger it’s even better.”

While we’re all vulnerable to the contagious respiratory virus that causes fever, cough, sinus congestion, and muscle aches, healthcare providers are pushing for seniors 65 and older to get the special flu shot to prevent those symptoms from becoming too severe.

Dr. Christian LeBlanc explained the difference between the regular flu shot and those being offered to seniors, “In our 65 years and older, we’ll do a quadrivalent which is four different strains for the flu compared to the trivalent for our average-risk population. And so, it just adds extra protection for those high-risk patients.”

And other seniors at the Lake Charles Senior Center like Mary Bellard and David Orbeaux are absolutely on board with the doctor’s orders.

Bellard says, “Go get your flu shot, go get the shot! We advocate that especially right here in the center. These ladies, they are very very good with keeping us informed.”

Orebaux agreed, “It’s important to take these shots, ‘cause I done seen a lot people walk into a facility like a hospital or something and don’t walk out cause they refuse to tak the flu shot.”

Dr. LeBlanc says anyone 6 months and older can receive the flu shot. And if you experience any flu-like symptoms, it’s important to get tested with a flu swab within 48 hours.