Flu shots are life savers for everyone
To the Editor:
Preventive medicine is the best medicine. Having a yearly flu shot is one of the best ways you can protect yourself and your loved ones from serious illness. The flu vaccine used is a “dead” virus and cannot cause the flu.
Everyone six months of age or older should have an annual flu shot, but particularly those over 50 years old, those who have diabetes, a cardiac condition or chronic respiratory illness, caregivers for an infant or an elderly person, those who work in hospitals, nursing homes, home health care, day care centers or people who work in physician practices or clinics.
If you fall into one of more of the above categories, you really should be getting an annual flu shot. Call your health care provider to schedule your visit. If you have Medicare Part B, it will pay for the flu shot if you get it from a Medicare-participating provider. There are also other places where you can get your flu shot. Home care agencies often sponsor clinics and many local pharmacies and stores often give them, too.
And don’t forget, while you are scheduling your annual flu shot, ask your health care provider if you should get your pneumonia shot, too. Both can be given at the same time and both are covered in full if you have Medicare Part B and get them from a Medicare-participating provider. It is generally recommended that you get a pneumonia shot once you reach age 65.
The Northeast Health Care Quality Foundation (NHCQF) is the federally-contracted Medicare Quality Improvement
Organization (QIO) for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Each state in the country has a QIO to help improve the health and health care of Medicare beneficiaries throughout the nation. NHCQF has been serving Medicare since 1974 in New Hampshire, since 1984 in Vermont and since 1996 in Maine.
Lawrence D. Ramunno, MD, MPH,
Chief Quality Officer,
Northeast Health Care Quality Foundation