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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado Urges Seniors to Get Flu, Pneumonia Vaccines
Date:1/21/2011

DENVER, Jan. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The seasonal flu can be very serious for everybody. So serious, in fact, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that nearly everyone get a flu vaccine. This is particularly true for seniors (adults 65 and older).

As people age, it becomes more difficult for them to fight illness. As a result, older adults are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications, including pneumonia, hospitalization and even death. According to Flu.gov, 90 percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and older. Fortunately, seniors can take measures to protect themselves by being vaccinated against both the flu and pneumonia. With the flu season under way, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado is urging those 65 and older to get vaccinated against the flu and pneumonia.

"With few exceptions, there really is no reason for seniors not to get their vaccines, including their flu and pneumonia vaccines," said Dr. Karen Amstutz, medical director of Anthem's state sponsored and senior businesses. "Studies have shown that these vaccines are generally safe and effective. They are also easy to get and typically paid for by Medicare. Yet statistics show us that about a third of seniors don't get these much-needed vaccines. That's something we've got to change."

Following are some things Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado wants seniors to know about vaccines and cold and flu season.

Double Dose: Even some people who get the flu vaccine forget to get the pneumonia vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors should really get both. The good news is they can get them at the same time, according to the CDC. However, there are some differences between the vaccines. The flu shot needs to be administered annually. This year's version includes protection against the 2009 H1N1 vir
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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado
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