INDIANAPOLIS — Doctors are urging Hoosiers 65 and older to get vaccinated for the flu as cases rise.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending high-dose vaccines made for those 65 and up.
“We’ve had vaccines for people over 65 for quite a while, but this year, the CDC did make the preferential recommendation that people over 65 should get a vaccine that may have additional benefits,” said Dr. Christopher Belcher, infection prevention medical director at Ascension St. Vincent.
The recommendations come as cases are on the rise.
“It’s really been taking off the last few weeks, and the most vulnerable are the young and elderly,” said Dr. Belcher.
The vaccines approved for people 65 and older have four times the potency of a standard flu vaccine. But which one do you get?
“None of them are wrong,” Dr. Belcher said. “The CDC didn’t express any preference between the three.”
The vaccines are made three different ways with differing doses and technology.
“But all of them have been shown in studios to have an advantage compared to the standard dose vaccine,” Dr. Belcher said.
Doctors say now is the time to get vaccinated.
“Typically for older adults, it will get you through that flu season,” Dr. Belcher.
Doctors are encouraging vaccines among older Hoosiers as cases spread inside senior living centers.
“We are starting to see that in our facilities and certainly other respiratory viruses,” said Paul Peaper, president of the Indiana Health Care Association.
The state health department told FOX59 nine long-term care facilities across the state have reported outbreaks so far.
With many planning to gather for the holidays, Peaper is encouraging loved ones to get vaccinated, too.
“We want everyone to celebrate but to do so safely if we can,” Peaper said. “So vaccination is such an important tool for that.”