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For Older Adults, Influenza (Flu) Can be Deadly. About 70-85% of flu-related deaths and the majority of flu-related hospitalizations in the United States occurred in people age 65 and older. citation: 1

Older adults are especially vulnerable to severe complications from both flu and COVID-19. Protect your older patients against flu and help conserve healthcare resources by giving the flu vaccine. Learn more about how to help protect your patients from COVID-19 through vaccination and early treatment. Information on COVID-19 prevention and treatment can be found at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Download the fact sheet for more information on the risks of flu among older adults. Download this fact sheet for more information on the risks of COVID-19 among older adults.

Adults age 65 years and older are at greater risk of severe complications from influenza than younger adults, due both to their increased likelihood of having chronic conditions and to the decline of their immune systems with aging.2

Seasonal influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza3, but vaccination coverage among people age 65 and older in the U.S. has generally lagged below 70%, reaching the highest rate in 2020-21 at 75.2%.4

However, in the 2021-2022 season, the coverage rate among people age 65 and older declined to 65.8%.5

Ensure that your high-risk older patients are vaccinated against flu by using the information, tools, and resources provided by 65+ FLU DEFENSE.


Learn about the impact of influenza on adults age 65+

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Frequently asked questions about, and tips for discussing, influenza prevention

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Resources about flu vaccination, the single best protection against influenza4

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More information on influenza

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1. Flu & People 65 Years and Older. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed September 2022. 2. Call to Action: Reinvigorating Influenza Prevention in U.S. Adults Age 65 Years and Older. National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Accessed September 2022. 3. CDC’s Prevent Seasonal Flu. Accessed September 2022. 4. CDC’s FluVaxView Accessed September 2022. 5. Winston CA, Wortley PM, Lees KA, Factors Associated with the Vaccination of Medicare Beneficiaries in Five U.S. Communities: Results from the Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Immunization Initiative Survey, 2003. J Am Geriatr Soc 2006;54:303–10. 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.00585.x

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