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Now more than ever, please get your flu shot

Senior News

A sincere wish just came true: This year’s high-dose senior version of the flu shot will contain all four vaccines. In past years, the senior shot (for those over age 65) contained only three of the vaccines, two A and one B. Most years I would write a snarly note to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ask about the reason for the false economy. Of course I never got a reply, but now … finally, we seniors will have a flu shot with all four vaccines.

And what a shot it will be. The four vaccines are names we haven’t heard in a while, if ever: A/Guangdong-Maonan (H1N1), A/Hong Kong (H3N2), B/Washington and B/Phuket. To help us kick start our immune system, the senior version will contain four times the amount that younger folks get. The standard trivalent (threeway) will have two A and one B, while the standard quadrivalent (four-way) has all four.

If your doctor says you should have a flu shot, don’t delay. When I called my pharmacy (where I get my flu shots each year), the first appointment was many days out, and they had been swamped with requests for the shot. Yes, they will be resupplied when they run out, but no, they didn’t know how quickly that would be.

By getting a flu shot, should you get sick later this season, it will be a good bet that it’s not the regular flu, which will save much time in getting a diagnosis.

To find flu shots, call your doctor, local pharmacies, grocery stores or go to vaccinefinder.org. If you have a Medicare or insurance card, you won’t have to pay anything.

If you want to know more, check the CDC website: www.cdc.gov/flu/season/ faq-flu-season-2020-2021. htm.

(c) 2020 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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