Flu Shot Immunization for Seniors

In Northeast Ohio, most of the pharmacy entrances are advertising the flu shot.

The other day when I was picking up some essentials at a local pharmacy, I had seen the sign for the high dose flu shot and asked the cashier, “How old is the senior for the senior flu shot dose?”

I figured it was an easy question, but with three cashiers at the front of the store, each one was guessing a different age: “Well, 55 is the age to live in a senior housing complex.” “But AARP starts at 50.” “I think 62 is the age you can get social security retirement.” “In Ohio, 60 is the age for a Golden Buckeye card.”

Funny, they had no idea. They finally agreed I should ask the pharmacist. That was actually my first thought, but I found it interesting to have this discussion with them, because they all appeared to be older than 60 years old and obviously, they come in contact with a lot of the public.

When I did go back to talk to the pharmacist, before I could finish with my question, they told me they are out of shots. Ha ha. Then why the sign out front?

“No, no,” I explained. “I just want to know how old is a senior?”

The pharmacist said a senior is 65 and older. That made me laugh, because I think they picked that number because it used to be the age you had to be to get full retirement from social security. Later I realized that the CDC picked that number. But maybe they started there because of the old social security law.

If you ask a young person how old a senior is, they will tell you 17 or 18 because they assume you mean a senior in high school. People don’t usually talk about seniors in college anymore because so many folks don’t finish in 4 years.

But enough about seniors. I should be glad they aren’t calling them elderly! Back to my original question.

Do you get a flu shot each year?

The purpose of getting a flu shot is to not get the flu… or to just get a milder version of the flu… and especially to not spread the flu.

My local grocery store pharmacy is willing to give me a $5 coupon for free groceries if I get one. When I took my parents to get the high dose senior flu shot, it cost $76 if you didn’t have your insurance card with you.

The other day I watched a Netflix show about pandemics on the “Explained” show. It outlined the black plague, the 1918 flu, the swine flu, the bird flu and I have to tell you, it was very convincing to get a flu shot. Even though the flu shot usually only covers four different flu strains, the Center for Disease Control predicts the most likely strains.

While the flu season is just starting in the USA for the 2019-2020 season, it is slowing down in Australia. News reports claim that Australia’s flu season was the worst in their history: more than 270,000 [cases], compared to almost 60,000 in 2018.

As a strong fit woman over 50, do you regularly get an annual flu shot? What about the other immunizations, like shingles vaccine?

4 thoughts on “Flu Shot Immunization for Seniors”

  1. I don’t remember seeing anything about a high dose shot for seniors before, but maybe I just didn’t notice? Good for you getting the shingles vaccine. Was it the 2 step version where you get a booster in 6 months?

    1. Yes, the newer version of the shingles vaccine requires a booster within six months. There was a shortage of the vaccine when I was doing this and ended uo just squeaking under the wire with the booster.

  2. OK, I don’t know what this says about me but I’ve never heard of this high dose flu shot. I gather it’s different than a regular flu shot.
    Some years I get the shot and others I don’t. It doesn’t seem to matter much for me. If I were spending much time with my parents, I’d definitely get it because I wouldn’t want to pass anything on to them.

    I did get the new improved shingles vaccine. It really hurt. The next day I couldn’t lift my arm over my head. The side effect passed pretty quickly. I’ve heard such horrible things about shingles that I really want to avoid it if at all possible.

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