Did you know that women typically get more benefit from a flu shot than men?
Women usually have a greater immune response to the flu vaccine, which means they are even less likely to get the flu after receiving it than men are. That sounds like great news if the person you are a caregiver for happens to be female, but it turns out it might not be. According to some new research, the gap in immune response between men and women lessens with age, which means women lose some of the benefits they got when they were younger.
Age, Gender, and the Flu Vaccine
In a recent study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, researchers looked at how gender and age affected the immune response for the H1N1 flu vaccine that was used in 2009. The study involved 145 people who were divided into two groups. The first group consisted of 50 people who were between the ages of 18 and 45. The other 95 people were in the second group and were all 65 or older.
The results of the study showed that the women in the first group, the younger group, had a better immune response than all of the men involved in the study. In addition, their immune response was better than that of older women.
The researchers believe that the reason for the change has to do with estrogen. They suggest that estrogen helps to increase the immune response in women while testosterone lowers the response in men. As women age, their estrogen level decreases, which may account for the decrease in the immune response.
Why Seniors Need the Flu Vaccine Regardless of Gender
Male or female, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people aged 65 and older get an annual flu vaccine. That’s because older adults are at a greater risk for contracting the flu and for having severe complications because of it. In fact, up to 90 percent of deaths caused by the flu occur in seniors.
The good news is that if your older family member is enrolled in the original Medicare, they can get the flu shot for free as long as they see a provider who accepts Medicare assignment.
Home care providers can assist your aging relative in getting their flu shot and in protecting themselves from getting the flu. A home care provider can assist the senior in making an appointment to receive their shot and drive them to the provider’s office. Home care providers can also remind the older adult to take steps during flu season to prevent getting the flu, like washing their hands frequently.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Health Care in Dunwoody, GA, please call the caring staff at Always Care Nursing Service today.
Call for Assistance: (404) 266-8773 or (800) 989-7828
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