With flu season upon us, it is critical for everyone – especially seniors – to get a flu vaccine this year. As a physician who cares for seniors in the Houston area, I know firsthand that both flu and COVID-19 can be devastating for seniors and even more so, for Black seniors.
We don’t want to compound the recent spike in cases in the Houston area by adding a flu outbreak. That not only would make seniors more susceptible to COVID-19, but it would also overwhelm hospitals and physician practices.
The best way to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated, but only 64% of Black seniors get a yearly flu vaccination, compared to over 73% for all seniors.
Providers have a duty to educate seniors, especially those in the Black community, about the importance of an annual vaccine in reducing the spread of influenza and to build confidence in the system. We must ensure that people understand why getting their yearly flu shot will not impact their health negatively, but instead will help improve it.
At Partners in Primary Care, where we specialize in senior-focused primary care, we are making it easy for seniors to get their flu vaccine, all while implementing new and rigorous safety measures in accordance with CDC guidance to protect our patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar and both can be fatal for elderly adults, it is very important to do everything possible to maintain good health through the fall and winter.
Please consider getting your flu vaccination this year. It’s your best protection against this largely avoidable illness.
Partners in Primary Care is available to any senior with Medicare Advantage. To find a Houston location near you to get your flu vaccination, please visit SeniorFocusedHouston.com.