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AARP Encourages All Adults 50+ to Get Flu Vaccine This Season
Date:10/6/2009

CHICAGO, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the thermometer dropping and the onset of flu season upon us, AARP is reaching out to their membership and the public to encourage them to get a seasonal flu vaccine this year.

"AARP has long supported healthy behaviors and prevention efforts," said Merri Dee, AARP Illinois State President. "We encourage all older adults to protect themselves and those around them by getting vaccinated."

Each year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized in America and 36,000 people die as a result of the flu or complications arising from the disease. During flu season, which generally runs from November through April of each year, approximately 10-20% of the population is affected with some strain of the flu virus. Annual vaccination is the safest, most effective method for preventing the spread of the flu virus. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all people over the age of 50 get a flu vaccination.

Individuals 50 and older are more vulnerable to seasonal flu and its complications, and should get vaccinated as soon as they can. The seasonal flu vaccine is especially recommended for household caregivers of young children, the elderly, and anyone else at high risk of flu complications.

According to the CDC, the flu vaccine has been shown to be 70-90% effective in preventing the flu in healthy individuals under the age of 65. For older individuals who are living in the community, it is 30-70% effective in preventing hospitalization from the flu. For individuals who reside in long term care facilities, the vaccine has been shown to be 50-60% effective in preventing hospitalization and 80% effective in preventing death from the flu.

For information about flu shot clinics in your community, visit www.aarp.org/flu. For more information on influenza and vaccination, speak with your healthc
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SOURCE AARP Illinois
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