By Vanessa De Oliveira Inacio, M.D
Flu season is here, and Conviva Care Center is prepared to provide seniors with the preventive care needed to age well. Studies show that senior adults with dual flu-COVID infections are at a greater risk of severe disease and potential death than patients who only have COVID-19, or another virus. The only way to stop the expected health burden of influenza is to get a flu shot.
A flu shot is the only factor that reduces the risk of illness and hospitalizations. The 2022/2023 flu season began earlier this year—so it’s important to be vaccinated as soon as possible. It’s critical for older adults because they experience a natural decline in immune function, which places them at high risk for developing complications from the flu and COVID-19.
While there are different flu vaccines available this year, Conviva recommends that seniors receive one of two available flu shots: either the high-dose vaccine or the vaccine containing an adjuvant, a substance that creates a higher immune response post-vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu season began earlier this year than in past years. In preparation for the onset of flu season Conviva Care Center received ample supplies of vaccines in September, which patients have been receiving.
Aging well is a philosophy that guides all we do at Conviva Care Center. Our medical team is making every effort possible to take preventive measures for senior wellness and educating older adults about getting a flu shot is a natural tie-in to that philosophy.
Getting Two the Same Day
It is completely safe to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 booster on the same day. In terms of side effects, the flu vaccine is very benign, with the most common complaint being soreness at the injection site. However, many of our elderly patients express concern about how the vaccine interacts with their immune system and some are hesitant to receive two injections the same day. After discussing the benefits, most understand the pros far outweigh the cons, and fortunately our population is compliant to the advice we provide.
Seniors are Prone to the Flu
Wearing a mask is not enough to protect against getting the flu, and the 65-and-over population can also be prone to hospitalization when getting the flu because of declining pulmonary function. Symptoms include upper respiratory cough, fatigue, fever, and body aches but our seniors are at a higher risk due to age and any predisposed conditions.
The most common misconception is when people say they had a negative reaction and got sick after getting a flu shot. The vaccine is not a live virus vaccine—so while some patients may feel achy or have other mild effects after a flu shot, they cannot get the flu from it. During this flu season several other viruses are circulating that cause flu-like symptoms, so chances are a person became infected with another virus.
ABOUT VANESSA DE OLIVERIA INACIO, M.D.
Board-certified in family medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine, Dr. Inacio is a physician at the Conviva Care Center in Coconut Creek, Florida. She completed her residency at Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA, and earned a medical degree from Ponce School of Medicine and Health Services, Ponce, Puerto Rico. Dr. Inacio obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, where she graduated cum laude. Dr. Inacio is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Student-Teacher Society of Family Medicine. She loves spending time with her family, going to the beach, and traveling. For more information, call 954-758-9181.
Conviva continues to reinvent excellence in healthcare by embracing meaningful patient relationships focused on producing optimal health outcomes. With nearly 150 convenient locations throughout Texas (Corpus Christi, El Paso and San Antonio) and Florida (Broward County, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County and Tampa/Gulf Coast), the vast community of Conviva Care Centers is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of more than 300 primary care physicians and over 800 affiliated specialists. They provide a wide range of vital healthcare services that patients require daily, including the advantages of senior care activity centers and 24/7 on-call providers. The success of Conviva is measured by its patients’ clinical outcomes and long-term health benefits. To learn more, visit ConvivaCareCenters.com, or call (833) CONVIVA.