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   Flu News for Senior Citizens from SeniorJournal.com
 

   Useful Links

 
 

Flu Links

Flu.gov (HHS)

 WHO flu site

 WHO on H1N1

 CDC site

 USDA site

 Pandemic Flu (HHS)

 Seasonal Flu (NIAID)

 Seasonal Flu\(FDA)

 FDA’s Webpage on H1N1 Flu

 Avian Flu Researcher Daniel Perez site

  National Strategy for Pandemic

  HHS Pandemic Strategy for Healthcare System

CDC current reports on H1N1 (Swine Flu)

 
 

Other Flu Links

Flu Shot Locator – American Lung Association – Information about how to find a Flu Shot clinic in your area.

What Vaccines Do You Need?
– CDC – A quick quiz to help you determine which vaccinations you might need.

CMS Medicare Preventive Services: Influenza/Pneumococcal Campaign – Information on the types of vaccinations covered by Medicare.

FLUWATCH.com — The leading real-time influenza resource and the official site of the National Flu Surveillance Network.

Flustar.com — This site tracks and reports the progression of the flu across the United States.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — This site provides up-to-date vaccine information.

CDC Influenza Weekly Surveillance Reports — Maps, etc., on flu cases

Focus on the Flu (National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases.

Influenza Vaccine Information — Information from the FDA

Immunization Action Coalition — Works to increase immunization rates.

CIDRAP - Influenza News — The Latest Influenza News

Pneumonia Vaccine Information Statement (pdf) — From the CDC. What you need to know!

Knowledge.com — Influenza Links

National Network fo Immunization Information — Provides the public, health care workers and the media up-to-date, scientifically valid information related to immunizations.

CDC 2004-2005 Flu Gallery — This season's educational materials for patents and providers.

NNii Subscription to Immunization Newsbriefs — Stay informed with a free email subscription to NNii's Immunization Newsbriefs.

Influenza.com — Information About Influenza and its Prevention

Amercian Lung Association — Improving Life, One Breath at a Time.

Swine Flu Website of Consumer Reports

 

 

 

 

 

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Flu Virus Here Early, Moving Fast: Senior Citizens Should Be Extra Careful During Holidays

CDC provides seniors with videos other information on what they should do to be safe

Dec. 11, 2012 - The flu has hit the U.S. earlier than usual this season and senior citizens, who are among the most vulnerable to this threat, are warned to take extra precautions during the holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, "Share time, not the flu virus, with your family this holiday season." Read more, see videos...

Senior Citizen Alerts

CDC Notes Jump in A-H3N2v Virus Infection; Stresses Caution with Pigs

10 cases in Ohio associated with attendance at a fair where ill swine may have been - senior citizens must be cautious

August 3, 2012 –Twelve new cases of human infections with influenza A (H3N2) variant virus in 3 states were reported today by the Centers for Disease Controal and Prevention. The H3N2v virus contains the M gene from the human influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (2009 H1N1) virus, as have the previous 17 cases detected since July 2011. All of this week’s reported cases occurred in people who had direct or indirect contact with swine prior to their illness. Read more...

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Statin Study Finds Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Save Lives of Flu Patients

Patients not receiving statins were almost twice as likely to die from influenza

Dec. 16, 2011 - Statins, traditionally known as cholesterol-lowering drugs, may reduce deaths among patients hospitalized with influenza, according to a new study released online by the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

FDA Gets Set for Flu Season with Approval of Vaccines for 2011-12

CDC recommends everyone aged 6 months and older get vaccination

July 19, 2011 – As senior citizens suffer through a blistering hot summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is finalizing plans for the flu season around the corner. Yesterday the agency approved the influenza vaccine to be made for 2011-2012 by all six manufacturers licensed to produce and distribute flu vaccine for the U.S. Read more...

Medicare News

CMS Issues New Regs Making Free Flu Shots Even More Available for Senior Citizens

Remove barriers for seniors who want to receive annual flu shots as part of their Medicare preventive health routine

May 4, 2011 – Medicare has taken action to make seasonal flu vaccinations more available and suggested the new requirements for Medicare-certified providers will encourage senior citizens getting the free shots when they are at the doctor’s office for their free preventive health checkup. Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

National Flu Vaccination Week Emphasizes Everyone in Family Needs Flu Shot

First year for CDC to recommend every one six months older and older get the shot - senior citizens still considered in high risk group

 

Flu Shot Locator

 
 

National Flu Shot Locator (by Zip Code)

 

Dec. 6, 2010 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday launched its fifth annual National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) - December 5-11 - to highlight the importance and safety of flu vaccination, and to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. Today, the CDC effort got a push from Family Vaccination Day sponsored by Families Fighting Flu, which emphasizes the need for flu shots for the whole family. Read more...

Senior Citizens, Others at High Risk Not Enthusiastic to Get Flu Shot This Year

Consumer Reports Health says only 40% of health care workers, 51% seniors say they will be vaccinated

Oct. 14, 2010 – Despite the introduction this year of a super flu vaccine that prevents both H1N1 and season flu, key “at risk” groups – like those who care for young children and healthcare workers in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities – show little interest in being vaccinated, according to a Consumer Report Health poll. And, too, among senior citizens only 51 percent plan to get the shot. Read more...

Steamed Pears, Herbal Bathes, Massage Popular for Senior Citizens to Avoid Flu Without Shot

Study in 9 countries of why seniors fail to get flu vaccination finds unusual health rituals

Oct. 12, 2010 – Researchers, puzzled by why so many senior citizens in various countries fail to take advantage of the highly successful flu vaccine, find that people who chose not to be vaccinated were more likely to rely on indigenous health practices - together with good general health and hand hygiene - than those who decided to be vaccinated. Read more...

Senior Citizens Have New Reason to Get Flu Shot: It Greatly Reduces Risk of First Heart Attack

The earlier you get the vaccination the more heart protection if provides

Sept. 20, 2010 – If senior citizens needed a new reason to get their annual flu shot, they just got it today. A new study found the season flu vaccine appears to reduce the chances of a first heart attack by 19 percent. And, says the study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), early vaccination in the fall further increases these benefits. Read more...

All CVS, MinuteClinic Locations Now Providing Flu Shots; No Appointment Needed at Clinics

CVS introduces My Flu Shot Scheduler for online flu shot appointments at pharmacies

Aug. 23, 2010 - CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic, today announced that flu vaccinations are available at all of their locations nationwide. CVS/pharmacy has more than 7,000 locations and MinuteClinic has more than 500 locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores. Big crowds are expected for flu shots following a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that everyone over six months old get the vaccination. Read more...

CDC Says Senior Citizens Not Only Ones Needing Flu Shots; This Year Everyone Needs One

PGovernment urges universal flu vaccinationsolicy change from past years, when government focused on vaccinating people in ‘high-risk’ groups

Aug. 23, 2010 – Senior citizens will, again, need to get a flu shot this year, but, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so will everyone else over six months of age. This year’s vaccine is designed to protect against H1N1 and two other strains of seasonal flu. Read more...

H1N1 Influenza Pandemic of 2009 Declared Officially Over by WHO; U.S. Did It in June

Bug expected to continue hanging around but will behave more like seasonal flu; U.S. gears up for seasonal flu shots that will also stop H1N1 and more

Aug. 11, 2010 – The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic is officially over. It was declared so yesterday by the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee and the WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan. The decision was based on “strong indications that influenza, worldwide, is transitioning toward seasonal patterns of transmission.” Read more...

 
 

Senior Citizen Alerts

FDA Warns About Fraudulent Tamiflu Being Sold on Internet

Fraudulent product is dangerous to patients allergic to penicillin

June 18, 2010 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday warned consumers about a potentially harmful product represented as “Generic Tamiflu” sold over the Internet. FDA tests revealed that the fraudulent product does not contain Tamiflu’s active ingredient, oseltamivir, but cloxacillin, an ingredient in the same class of antibiotics as penicillin. Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens Still Doing Well Against H1N1 but Need Vaccination Says CDC

Cases leveling off but new surge is possible – see charts by age of cases, hospitalizations, deaths

March 15, 2010 - The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a relatively small increase in H1N1 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.  The numbers released on Friday also confirm senior citizens are fairing relatively well in avoiding and battling this flu. Just ten percent of cases have been seniors but CDC still says people 65 years and older should get vaccinated for 2009 H1N1. Read more...

Heart Disease Patients Should Get H1N1 Flu Shot Says American Heart Association

National Influenza Vaccination Week started Sunday; pushed by HHS and CCD

Jan. 11, 2010 — The American Heart Association has joined the national effort to get more Americans vaccinated against H1N1 flu during National Influenza Vaccination Week, Jan. 10-16. Read more...

Senior Citizens Need to Get In Line for Widely Available H1N1, Seasonal Flu Vaccinations

Many seniors confused about antiviral drugs being used to treat flu; they are high priority if sick

Jan. 6, 2010 – This has been a confusing flu season for senior citizens. Almost all older Americans know they should get the seasonal flu shot each winter and that Medicare pays for it. This year, however, the H1N1 flu struck and seniors were not on the high priority list for vaccinations, because they seemed to have some immunity not enjoyed by younger people. Now, however, there is plenty of H1N1 vaccine out there and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the elderly should get the shot. Read more...

Senior Citizens Now Getting H1N1 Shots in Some Communities Where Priority Groups Completed

Supply expected to expand rapidly in weeks ahead but new HHS public service spots do not target seniors

Dec. 7, 2009 – Vaccine to protect senior citizens from H1N1 flu is now available in some communities and will become increasingly available over the next few weeks, according to Thomas Frieden, Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Protection. Frieden made his comments on Friday before Health and Human Services released a new series of public service commercials this morning urging people to get the vaccine – none targeting seniors. Read more...find shots near you, locator in story

Senior Citizen Alerts

CDC Alerts Americans of Fake Email Asking Them to Enroll in H1N1 Vaccination Program

Scam drops code in your computer; claims to be registering for a non-existent state program

Dec. 7, 2009 - The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, which is the lead agency in battling seasonal flu, H1N1 (swine flu) and most other diseases in the U.S. has alerted the media to a scam email cruising the Internet attempting to fool Americans into revealing personal information. Those who click on the link are downloading a malicious code on their system. Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

May Be Time for Many Senior Citizens to Seek Location to Get Flu Shot - Seasonal and H1N1

Too many senior citizens failing to get seasonal flu shot; 36,000, mostly seniors, die every years from flu

Dec. 2, 2009 – Most senior citizens are aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that older Americans are not as vulnerable to the H1N1 (Swine) Flu as are younger people. The CDC still recommends older Americans get the vaccinations but they have been moved to the back of the line. Now, with increased supplies, may be the time to start checking on the availability of these shots in your local area with the handy search tool provided by CDC. Read more...Use Google Flu Vaccine Locator

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Aspirin and Tylenol May Decrease the Effectiveness of Flu, Other Vaccines

Best choice maybe to not take aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen for a couple weeks before and after you get a vaccine

Dec. 1, 2009 - With flu season in full swing and the threat of H1N1 looming, demand for vaccines is at an all-time high. Although those vaccines are expected to be effective, University of Missouri researchers have found further evidence that some over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin and Tylenol, that inhibit certain enzymes could impact the effectiveness of vaccines. Read more..

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Smart Senior Citizens Guide to Flu Season from Geriatrics Center at U. of Michigan

Seasonal flu shot a priority, call doctor promptly if you have flu-like symptoms

Nov. 23, 2009 - Those over 50 need to be immunized against seasonal flu. That’s the most important step most older people can take to get safely through the flu season, says Karen Hall, M.D., Ph.D., a University of Michigan Geriatrics Center specialist. Read more...

California H1N1 Study Finds Those Over 50 Most Likely to Die in Hospital, Elderly Least Likely

JAMA report shows hospitalizations occurring at all ages; fewer hospitalizations and fatalities occurring in elderly persons

Nov. 4, 2009 – A study out of California in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association creates a warning for older Americans about the H1N1 flu – hospitalization and death can occur at all ages. The study found those age 50 or older had the highest death rate among those hospitalized. Still, however, the elderly have fewer deaths and hospitalizations. Read more...Watch video...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Senior Citizens Should Avoid Common Pain Relievers When Getting Their Flu Shot

A variety of pain relievers seem to dilute the production of necessary antibodies to protect against illness

Nov. 3, 2009 - With flu vaccination season in full swing and senior citizens lining up for shots, research from the University of Rochester Medical Center cautions that the use of many common pain killers – Advil, Tylenol, aspirin – at the time of injection may blunt the effect of the shot and have a negative effect on the immune system. Read more...

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Scientists Discover Possible Achilles Heel of Influenza: Our Old Friends Antioxidants

Opens the door for new drugs that could prevent severe flu-related lung damage... and another reason to drink red wine

Oct. 29, 2009 - As the nation copes with a shortage of vaccines for H1N1 influenza, a team of Alabama researchers have raised hopes that they have found an Achilles' heel for all strains of the flu - antioxidants. Their research indicates that antioxidants—the same substances found in plant-based foods—might hold the key in preventing the flu virus from wreaking havoc on our lungs. Read more...

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Senior Citizens with Dementia at Much Higher Risk of Dying with Flu, Not So Likely to Get It

Limited access to health care, inadequate testing may contribute to higher rates of mortality and lower rates of diagnosis of flu in elderly with dementia

Oct. 27, 2009 – Senior citizens (age 65 and over) with dementia are diagnosed with flu less frequently, have shorter hospital stays, but have a fifty percent higher rate of death than those without dementia, according to an epidemiological study on pneumonia and influenza (P&I). Read more...

Medicare News

H1N1 Flu Information for Seniors Prepared by CMS for Medicare, Medicaid Beneficiaries

Medicare’s coverage of H1N1 flu vaccine and more explained in Q&A below

Oct. 13, 2009 – Due to concerns among senior citizens about H1N1 flu, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has opened a Web page with information specifically for people on Medicare and Medicaid. The basic information is presented in a question and answer presentation by Medicare, which appears below. Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Microsoft Launches Site to Help Consumers Decide if They Have H1N1 Flu, What to Do

H1N1 Response Center hopes to keep patients at home with self-assessment based on material from Emory University.

Oct. 7, 2009 – Microsoft jumped into the H1N1 flu fight today with the launch of a Website, H1N1 Response Center, which it says provides users with a program by Emory University to self-assess their flu symptoms. It provides timely and relevant content, says the announcement. Read more...

Seniors Need Pneumonia, Seasonal Flu Shots; CDC Finds Pneumonia Bacteria in H1N1 Fatalities

CDC Advisory Committee recommends single dose of PPSV23 (23–valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine) for all senior citizens

Oct. 1, 2009 - Senior citizens may have relaxed about the H1N1 flu shot, convinced it seems more likely to attack younger people, but they do have vaccinations they should worry about. They should not only be getting their vaccination for the seasonal flu but need to get their pneumonia vaccination, too, according to an alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many people who have died from H1H1 this year were also infected with pneumonia bacteria, warns the CDC. Read more...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Rumor Circulating on Internet that H1N1 Shots Are Mandatory is False

Flu.gov says vaccination program for H1N1 is voluntary, like regular flu shot

Sept. 29, 2009 - There is currently a petition circulating on a few internet sites protesting the federal government’s “mandatory” H1N1 vaccination program, reports Flu.gov. The Health and Human Services Website says, “Here’s a flu fact for you: the federal vaccination program for H1N1 flu is Voluntary, just like the seasonal flu vaccination program.” Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Flu.gov Gets a Facelift as It Strives to be the Leader for Information on H1N1, Seasonal Flu

Health and Human Services site gets info from HHS Interagency Public Affairs Group

 

Flu Shot Locator

 
 

National Flu Shot Locator (by Zip Code)

 

Sept. 21, 2009 – The Website – flu.gov – is becoming an increasingly helpful source of information on the flu for U.S. citizens. The Health and Human Services site has made new additions aimed at making this the “one stop” for flu information, seasonal and H1N1 flu. Read more... 

Senior Citizens Should Get Regular Flu Shot Now, H1N1 Shot After Younger People

Studies show the risk for H1N1 Flu infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups

Sept. 21, 2009 – The government agencies involved in protecting U.S. citizens from the flu this season – regular seasonal flu and H1N1 – are pouring out information to help citizens better understand the threat and prevention, but there is still much confusion among senior citizens, who are surprised to find themselves at the end of the line for H1N1 vaccinations. Read more...

Opining of a Cranky Old Man

Maybe Howie Mandel Has the Right Idea, At Least When It Comes to Avoiding H1N1 Flu

First concern for me is the customary shaking of hands us Catholics engage in at Mass

By Bill Kalmar, Retiree

Sept. 3, 2009 - Newspapers and airwaves have been inundated with news of the impending swine flu, or H1N1 influenza, which gives it a more ominous sounding! And, speaking of ominous, the World Health Organization predicts that within two years, nearly one-third of the world’s population will have caught it! “What we know is, it’s brand new and no one really has an immunity to this disease,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebilius says. Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens on Low Priority for H1N1 Flu Shots Due to Signs that Younger More Vulnerable

CDC advisors do urge seniors to be at the top of the list of seasonal flu vaccinations

July 30, 2009 – Senior citizens are not a high priority for the vaccine being developed to ward off the H1N1 flu virus that has been sweeping the world, according to an advisory committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news about this is the evidence shows people age 65 or older are at less risk of catching this flu, once known as swine flu, than are younger people. Read more...

H1N1 Virus More Dangerous Than Suspected, But Oldest Senior Citizens Appear Immune

Good news for oldest seniors – those born before 1918 have antibodies that protect against the new H1N1 virus

 

The pandemic H1N1 flu virus (red) has been shown to be more virulent than scientists previously believed. The filamentous shape of the virus, which in this image have recently budded from infected cells, is also unusual. Courtesy Yoshihiro Kawaoka

 

by Terry Devitt, University of Wisconsin

July 14, 2009 - A new, highly detailed study of the H1N1 flu virus shows that the pathogen is more virulent than previously thought. Writing in a fast-tracked report published yesterday in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers led by UW-Madison virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka provides a detailed portrait of the pandemic virus and its pathogenic qualities. Read more...

 
 

HHS Commits Over $1.23 Billion to Prepare for Fall Flu Season Battle with H1N1 and Regular Flu

$884 million buys more vaccine, $350 million goes to states for preparedness

July 13, 2009 - HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that the department will commit $884 million to purchase additional supplies of two key ingredients for potential H1N1 vaccine to further prepare the nation for a potential resurgence of the 2009 H1N1 virus. This follows her announcement on Friday of $350 million in grants to help states and territories prepare for the 2009 novel H1N1 flu virus and the fall flu season. Read more...

No Vaccine to Battle Swine Flu Sweeping Mexico and into U.S.; Annual Flu Shot Won't Work

CDC sets up Web pages with latest information as Public Health Emergency declared

April 27, 2009 – “At this point there is not a vaccine for this swine flu strain. It's a new strain of influenza,” said Dr. Richard Besser, Acting Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at a news conference Sunday. “And so what we're talking about is whether it's warranted at this point to move toward manufacturing a vaccine.” Read more...

Pharmacies Offering No-Cost Antibiotics Should Promote Responsible Use, CDC Says

Some are offering no-cost antibiotics have linked the offers to the cold and flu season, neither of which should be treated with antibiotics

March 5, 2009 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week sent out letters to several chain pharmacies that offer no-cost prescription antibiotics to low-income consumers urging them to promote responsible use of antibiotics, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, the agency is concerned that the no-cost drugs could promote the wrong message and might worsen the problem of drug resistance. Read more...

Increasing Prevalence of Influenza A Resistance to Drug Oseltamivir, JAMA Study Finds

As of February 19, resistance to oseltamivir identified among 98.5% U.S. influenza A(H1N1) viruses tested

March 3, 2009 - Influenza A viruses (H1N1 subtype) that are resistant to the drug oseltamivir circulated widely in the U.S. during the 2007-2008 influenza season, with an even higher prevalence of drug resistance during the current 2008-2009 influenza season, according to a study to be published in the March 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and released early online yesterday, along with two other related studies below, because of their  public health importance. Read more...link to video

Senior Citizen Alerts

Antibiotic Promotions by Pharmacies are Wrong Prescription for Cold and Flu Season

Infectious Diseases Society of America says it is unhealthy promotional gimmick - a better option to help people are free flu shots

Jan. 16, 2009 - With an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant infections growing, experts are warning grocery-store pharmacies that antibiotics giveaways are an unhealthy promotional gimmick. If grocery stores want to help customers and save them money during cold and flu season, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) says, they should offer free influenza vaccinations instead. Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Feed a Cold, Feed a Fever is Best Advice for Senior Citizens; Calories Needed to Fight Flu

Research shows having a body ready to fight a virus leads to a faster recovery and less-severe effects than if calories restricted

Nov. 25, 2008 - Dieters or those who consume fewer calories during flu season could have a harder time fighting off the flu virus, according to research by Michigan State University nutritional immunology professor Elizabeth Gardner. Her advice applies particularly to senior citizens. Read more...

Google Provides Instant Tracking of Flu Trends that May Protect Many Elderly

Early-warning system for outbreaks of influenza; early detection is critical to helping health officials respond quickly and save lives of senior citizens

Nov. 12, 2008 – Maybe Google should be persuaded to track down Obama Bin Laden. It seems no challenge is too big for their tracking program. The latest is Flu Trends, that Google engineers say can accurately estimate the level of flu in each state – in near real time. It could be a life-saver for senior citizens that need a dire threat to motivate them to get their flu shot. Read more...

Flu Shots Found to Also Reduce Risk of Blood Clots in Veins by 26 Percent

Effect more pronounced before, rather than after, age 52, with a 48%t lower risk of VTE

 

Flu Shot Locator

 
 

National Flu Shot Locator (by Zip Code)

 

Nov. 10, 2008 – Flu shots – well established as protection for senior citizens from influenza – are being found to have other benefits, too. A presentation this weekend at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2008 says these inoculations appear to also reduce the risk of blood clots in the veins by 26 percent. And, it works best for those under age 52, which was the average age of participants in the study. Read more...

High-Dose Flu Vaccine Shows Increased Immune Response Among Senior Citizens

Key finding is that the new high-dose vaccine increased the immune responses to all three influenza strains

Oct. 26, 2008 – A high-dose influenza vaccine demonstrated in testing an increased immune responses among senior citizens - adults 65 years of age and older - compared with the standard influenza vaccine, according to an announcement today by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group. Approximately 90% of the 36,000 average annual influenza-associated deaths occur among elderly adults 65 years of age and older. Read more...

Medicare News

Free Flu Shots Just One of the Preventive Services Covered by Medicare

Medicare Rights Center offers free one-on-one counseling over the phone about Medicare's preventive services

Oct. 15, 2008 - Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, may not seem like a dangerous disease, but every year about 20,000 Americans die because of it. People at high risk for complications from influenza - most senior citizens with Medicare - should get a flu vaccine. Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Poll Finds Just 74 Percent of Senior Citizens Planning on Flu Shots This Year

CVS, MinuteClinic, Walgreens, Walmart, Maxim begin offering flu shots this week

Oct. 2, 2008 - Senior citizens are the most likely to get a flu shot with 74 percent of those age 65 and older planning to be vaccinated, compared to 58 percent of those age 55-64 and 43% of adults younger than 55, according to a CVS/pharmacy survey. Read more...

CVS, MinuteClinic Begin Flu Shots October 1 with Goal of One Million Vaccinations

Will offer flu shots every day without an appointment; sponsor 7,500 flu clinics

Sept. 10, 2008 – The annual push to push senior citizens into getting flu shots got off to an aggressive start today with an announcement by CVS/pharmacy and Minute Clinic of a commitment to prevent flu by delivering one million flu vaccinations. The program begins October 1. Read more... Watch Video

CDC Releases 1918 Pandemic Flu Storybook Relating Stories of Many Survivors

Recognizes 90th anniversary of scourge that killed millions around world

  Elmer Kretzschmar, 95 tells his story about 1918  

Aug. 22, 2008 - In recognition of the 90th anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed millions of people around the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released today an online storybook containing narratives from survivors, families, and friends about one of the largest scourges ever on human kind. Read more...

National Flu Vaccination Week Hopes to Motivate Stragglers to Get It Done

'The time to get vaccinated continues in December, January, and later,' CDC

Nov. 24, 2007 – Most senior citizens, by this time of year, have already received a potentially life-saving flu shot. But, some have not. It is these stragglers that are the target of National Influenza Vaccination Week, which starts November 26 and ends December 2. Sponsors include the Centers for Disease Control, Health and Human Services and the National Influenza Vaccine Summit. Read more...

Flu Vaccine Found to be Less Effective Last Year but Worked for Seniors

Survey finds more people getting shot and flu than in past years

May 7, 2007 - A new Harris Poll suggests that the flu vaccine used before last winter may have been less effective than the vaccines used in some previous years. The adults who had flu shots before last winter were only 24 percent less likely to get the flu than those who were not vaccinated. In the two previous years Harris has found a larger difference in protection – 45% in 2004/05 and 33% in 2003/04. The good news is 73% of senior citizens got a flu shot and fewer got the flu last year than any other adult age group. Read more...

Flu Vaccine Produced in Insect Cells May Speed Development in Emergency

Preliminary study finds it safe, successful in adults; faster than eggs

April 11, 2007 – A fear of many involved in preparing for an outbreak of avian flu and a possible pandemic has been the dependency on the slow process of developing the influenza vaccines in chicken eggs. Now, scientists have found a promising alternative to create vaccine to treat seasonal and pandemic influenza – insect cells. The vaccine produced appeared safe and produced an immunogenic response in healthy adults in a preliminary study reported in the April 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Read more...

Senior Citizens May be Safer Than Young Adults in Flu Pandemic, Study Finds

1918 pandemic tended to kill the young, as has recent bird flu

March 1, 2007 - Evidence is mounting that senior citizens and the elderly may not be the ones most in danger should there be an avian influenza pandemic, contrary to what many have predicted, according to a new report that looked at studies of the 1918 influenza pandemic. One of the great unsolved mysteries surrounding this “Spanish Flu” pandemic is why it tended to kill the young and healthy, rather than older people, say the authors. Read more...

Yearly Flu Shot Senior Citizens Get May Offer Some Protection from H5N1

St. Jude studies show N1 protein in seasonal flu vaccine can trigger an antibody response to avian flu virus

Feb. 13, 2007 – The annual flu shot that Medicare provides and every senior citizen should be getting, may also offer protection from the bird flu virus, H5N1, at least for some people, according to investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Read more...

Government Paying $102.6 Million to See if Peramivir Can Protect Against Bird Flu

HHS says drug has shown effectiveness against a number of influenza strains

January 4, 2007 – There may be a new tool in the war against the bird flu that threatens a world pandemic. At least the government is betting $102.6 million on it. Health & Human Services today announced they have awarded the money to Bio Cryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., for development of their influenza antiviral drug, peramivir. The funding will also pay to see if it is an effective treatment for the H5N1 virus. Read more...

As H5N1 Virus Concern Grows, U.S. Buys Additional Influenza Vaccine

U.S. wants to prepare to protect 20 million from pandemic

November 20, 2006 – The U.S. government has taken another step toward building a stockpile of vaccine to protect 20 million people in the event of an influenza pandemic. The newest vaccine purchases of 5.3 million doses supplements the existing stockpile of 5.9 million doses of H5N1 vaccine. Health & Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the department has awarded contracts totaling $199.45 million to three vaccine makers to the 90-microgram doses. Read more...

CDC Sets Last Week in November as National Flu Vaccination Week

Plenty of vaccine delivered, seniors urged to get shots even if late

November 13, 2006 – The week after Thanksgiving has been designated at National Influenza Vaccination Week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an effort to urge Americans – senior citizens in particular – to get a flu vaccination, even if it is in December or later. The primary focus has been on urging shots in October and November. Read more...

Public Health Leaders Want Pandemic Planning Moved to HHS from Homeland Security

American Public Health Association launches its own effort to better inform public

November 7, 2006 - The American Public Health Association today voted to adopt new policy that supports comprehensive national planning for an influenza pandemic and recommends key changes to the current response strategy, including ensuring care for vulnerable populations, such as, senior citizens, and making the Department of Health & Human Services the lead agency for pandemic flu planning, rather than the Department of Homeland Security. Read more...

Election Day is Good Day for Seniors Citizens to Get Flu Shot While Out

74% of 65+ say they plan to get shot but we need 100%

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

November 7, 2006 – Today is Election Day, and also a good day to get your flu shot while you are out. In some communities these vaccinations are even being offered at the polls. A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found that 74 percent of America's senior citizens – those ages 65 and older – plan to get a flu shot this year. That's not enough. We need 100%. Read more...

Light Activated Coating That Kills Viruses Like Flu is Headed to Market

'These are applications that can change the world,' says scientist

October 31, 2006 - Imagine if killing flu viruses and other microbes were as simple as turning on a light. Exposing a unique surface coating to light may in fact hold the key to protecting us from virtually all viruses and bacteria, including the feared avian flu. It's being touted as a possible "anti-pandemic" agent. Read more...

Flu Clinics are Open for Business, Wal-Mart Shooting for a Million People

Senior citizens have many options for free flu shots this season

October 19, 2006 – Flu shot clinics – free to senior citizens on Medicare – are busy all over the U.S. These clinics are easy to locate and there is an ample supply of vaccine, especially for the high-risk older Americans. Wal-Mart and its associated Sam's Club, partnering with Theraflu, claim to be hosting the nation's largest flu vaccination event this month and their target is immunize a million people. Read more...

Flu Medicine Heavily Hoarded in 2005 but Not by Endangered Senior Citizens

300% jump in prescriptions by healthiest Americans after pandemic alert

October 17, 2006 – There was extensive hoarding of the antiviral medication Tamiflu last year after the news media warned of avian flu and America learned to fear the word "pandemic." It was not, however, the senior citizens, the age group most likely to get the flu and whose lives are most endangered, that were doing the hoarding. It was the 50 through 64 year olds who were filling the most prescriptions. Read more...

Maybe One-Two Punch Will Knock Out Deadly Bird Flu Virus

Seeking solution to anti-Pandemic dilemma of not knowing the virus we are trying to stop

October 13, 2006 – Scientist around the world are scrambling to find a vaccine that can prevent bird flu in humans and, thus, protect humanity from a deadly pandemic. But there is a problem – the bird flu virus we need to stop probably does not even exist, yet, which makes it difficult to design a preventive medicine. But researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center think they are on to something – a one-two punch that has worked in a small trial. Read more...

Maybe Anti-Flu Protection can be Delivered in a Cocktail to Prevent Even Bird Flu

Peptide blocks flu virus from entering cells, thwarting its ability to replicate

October 5, 2006 – With most senior citizens facing a flu shot in the near future, they may appreciate the work of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that say they have discovered a novel compound that offers broad protection against influenza viruses, including deadly avian influenza. Here's the best part – this protection may be delivered in an anti-influenza cocktail, rather than with a needle. Read more...

Senior Citizens Have No Reason to Skip Flu, Pneumonia Shots This Year

Shots are free for most seniors, in most neighborhoods, plentiful

 

Flu Shot Locator

 
 

National Flu Shot Locator (by Zip Code)

CVS Flu Clinics

Walgreen's

Longs Drug

 

October 4, 2006 – There is no reason for senior citizens not to get flu and pneumonia vaccine inoculations this year – there are more vaccine doses available than ever before, the shots are paid for by Medicare Part B and Medicaid and an online flu shot locator (see below) can help easily find where shots are available near home. Still, statistics show, many will not, which puts them endanger and can help spread the diseases to others. Read more...

Flu Shots Encouraged for Heart Patients in New Advisory as Flu Season Nears

American Heart Association reminds seniors its time for flu shots

September 29, 2006 - The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology are asking heart doctors to do something they may not normally do — give flu shots to their patients. However, patients with cardiovascular disease should not get the nasal-spray flu vaccine. This is a significant new recommendation for this flu season, with senior citizens and other high risk individuals. Read more...

Record Number of Flu Vaccine Doses Headed for U.S. Market

CDC says most vaccine providers should have vaccine in October

September 6, 2006 – A record number of doses of influenza vaccine will be available this year, according to an announcement today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine manufacturers are expecting to produce and distribute more than 100 million doses of influenza vaccines in the United States between now and early January, 2007 - at least 17 million more doses than has ever been distributed. Read more...

Avian Flu News for Senior Citizens

Discovery of Bird Flu Virus Structure Could Herald Better Drugs

Tamiflu only drug shown effective against H5N1, but there were human deaths in Asia where bird flu resisted the drug

By David McAlary
Voice of America, Washington - 16 August 2006

British researchers have taken a step that could lead to more potent drugs against the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus. They have peered inside a key protein on the surface of the virus, obtaining structural information that chemists could use to design new drugs to block it. Read more...

Pandemic News for Senior Citizens

Bird Flu Found in Michigan Swans Not the H5N1 Strain - Just H5 and N1

No threat to human health says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mute SwansAugust 14, 2006 – Two Michigan swans were found to have an H5 and an N1 but they don't fit together to make H5N1. These avian influenza subtypes have been found in two wild mute swans but the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Interior have ruled out the possibility of this being the H5N1 strain that has spread through birds in other parts of the world and caused a number of human deaths. Tests results indicate there is no threat to human health from the Michigan swans, according to a news release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Testing, however, is continuing. Read more...

Senior Citizen Health & Medicine

Studies Show Only Modest Benefits of Flu Shots Among Older Adults

By Becky Ham, Science Writer
Health Behavior News Service

July 18, 2006 - Although national and international health organizations urge anyone over age 65 to get yearly flu shots, the vaccinations are only modestly effective in preventing flu and its complications among older adults, according to a new review of recent studies. Read more...

Avian Flu News for Senior Citizens

Pandemic Flu Preparedness Gets More U.S. Funding as Threat Marches On

June 16, 2006 – Although the threat of pandemic flu seems to have dropped considerably as a concern of Americans, the Congress yesterday approved an emergency funding request of $2.3 billion for pandemic preparedness. And, the threat still grows as China today reported its 19th case of H5N1 avian influenza and the World Health Organization tracking shows there have already been more cases and deaths from bird flu in these early months of 2006 than in any of the last three years. Read more...

HHS Secretary Lays Out Pandemic Plan for Elderly

Senate aging committee focuses on preparation for pandemic

May 25, 2006 – At a hearing this morning by the Senate's Special Committee on Aging on "Preparing For Pandemic Flu," Health & Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said, "two federal advisory committees have recommended HHS prioritize elderly populations, "particularly those with 1 or more influenza high-risk condition, for vaccine administration and antiviral drug use." He added, however, "these recommendations will be reviewed and possibly revised." Read more...

Flu News for Senior Citizens

Higher Dose of Flu Vaccine Improves Immune Response in the Elderly

Senior citizens with double dose had up to 79% more antibody

May 22, 2006 - There may be a simple way to provide elderly Americans with extra protection against the annual flu virus: give them a higher dose of seasonal flu vaccine. This idea is suggested by the results of a newly reported clinical trial supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more...

'Holy Grail' of Flu Vaccines Successful in St. Jude Test

Vaccine protected animals from bird and human influenza virus

May 2, 2006 – Senior citizens, considered among the most vulnerable should a bird flu pandemic erupt, may find hope in research at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital that has discovered that a new vaccine protects mice and ferrets from a highly lethal avian influenza virus. Read more...

Relenza Inhaler Approved for Prevention of A and B Flu; Stockpiled for Pandemic

Second drug option for Americans to prevent and treat flu

March 31, 2006 – Although not a substitute for the flu vaccine, Relenza, an inhaler administered drug, has been approved for prevention of influenza A and B virus infections in adults and children. In one of the clinical trials used for the approval, which consisted primarily of senior citizens, the percent that developed symptoms confirmed to be flu were reduced from 1.4% of those on placebo to 0.2% for those who used Relenza. It is being stockpiled by the U.S. for use in a possible bird flu pandemic. Read more...

Bird Flu Vaccine Supply Shrinks with News It Takes Double Dose to Work

Even then it only worked in half the participants - no seniors included

March 30, 2006 – The U.S. supply of vaccine to prevent bird flu (H5N1) just got cut at least in half by the report of a clinical trial that found it took two doses to achieve immunity, and that was only in about half the patients. This trial, incidentally, included no senior citizens – people over age 64 – who are considered most in danger should an avian flu pandemic strike. Read more...

Marketing Program Could Boost Elderly Flu Vaccinations, Save Lives

10-year federal flu vaccination program could save more than 6,500 lives

By Krista Hopson

March 24, 2006 - To increase influenza vaccinations rates among the elderly – those ages 65 and over who are at high risk for influenza-related mortality – the federal government could consider borrowing a page from the pharmaceutical companies' prescription drug advertising campaigns. Read more...

Seniors' Avian Flu Alert

U.S. Now Has 26 Million Avian Flu Antiviral Treatments to Fight Pandemic

Death toll at 27 in first three months of 2006, compared to 44 in all of 2005

March 23, 2006 - HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt yesterday announced additional purchases of six million antiviral drug treatments that could be used in the event of a potential influenza pandemic. With these purchases, the Strategic National Stockpile will have a total of 26 million treatment courses of antiviral drugs for distribution to the states when an influenza pandemic is deemed to be imminent. Deaths worldwide from the feared Avian Flu or Bird Flu have now reached 27 compared to 44 for all of last year, according to the World Health Organization. Read more...

Flu Shots Work Best in Married Senior Citizens, Worst in Those Sad

March 20, 2006 – Senior citizens who are happily married show stronger responses to flu shots that those who are unmarried, especially those who are widowed. And, flu shots do not work as well in older adults who have recently experienced the death of a family member or close friend, a new study shows. Read more...

Vaccinated Senior Citizens Less Likely to Die from Pneumonia

March 16, 2006 – It may be unclear if the vaccination for pneumonia will prevent the deadly disease, but a new study says senior citizens hospitalized for pneumonia and who received the pneumococcal vaccine are at a lower risk of dying from the disease than those who haven’t been vaccinated. Prior vaccination also reduces patients’ risk of developing medical complications and decreases their length of stay in the hospital, according to an article in the Clinical Infectious Diseases, April 15 issue and now available online. Read more...

Senior Health Alert

Don't Use Amantadine or Rimandatine to Treat Flu, Warns CDC

Evidence indicates Influenza A viruses in US are resistant to these drugs

Jan. 15, 2006 – The Centers for Disease Control yesterday issued an urgent health alert warning Americans not to rely on the antiviral drugs amantadine or rimantadine to treat influenza infection. The agency says a resistance to the medicines has developed in much of the US influenza A virus. Amantadine, however, is also used to treat Parkinson’s disease, and should continue to be used for this treatment. Read more...

Respiratory Syncytial Virus May Kill as Many Elderly as Flu

How to prevent it? Wash your hands.

Jan. 13, 2006 - Infectious disease experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center have tracked the dangers from one of the most common winter bugs, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and they say the threat to some groups of people, such as the elderly, equals that from flu. Even though flu gets all the press, RSV is a stealth bug worthy of attention too. Read more...

HHS Announces $100 Million to Accelerate State and Local Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Efforts

Jan. 12, 2006 - Health and Human Services today announced $100 million in funding for state and local governments to help prepare for a possible influenza pandemic. These grants will be awarded to all 50 states, 7 territories, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Each state will receive a minimum of $500,000, with additional allocation of funds by population. In addition to the state grants, funds are being awarded to New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles County. He also announced a preparedness checklist for community organizations. Read more...

Senior Flu Watch

Tamiflu Provides Flu Tracker Download to Keep Eye on Flu Spread

Website tools make it easy for senior citizens to get current info online

Jan. 12, 2006 – The marketer of Tamiflu, the top-selling treatment for seasonal flu and currently being used to treat bird flu, is providing online tools that many senior citizens may want to use to track the seasonal flu threat in their area. The latest is the upgraded Desktop Flu Tracker that allows users to track the spread of flu in any community in the continental US. They also have the Zip Code Tracker that allows you to enter your zip code and get an immediate graphic showing the flu threat in your community compared to the US average. Read more...

Flu Update: State Planning Summits Begin as H5N1 Deaths Spread to Turkey

HHS issues pandemic planning book for families, seasonal flu steady

Jan. 6, 2006 – While the war in Iraq and corruption in government grab the headlines, senior citizens, the most vulnerable to influenza, need to keep their eyes on the war against the flu, both pandemic and seasonal. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced a new guide to help American families guard against the avian flu (pandemic) at a statewide planning session in Arizona. Yesterday, the World Health Organization confirmed two deaths from H5N1 in Turkey, the first outside of East Asia. Meanwhile, the regular flu season in the U.S. seems to be under control. Read more...

Senior Alerts

Avian Flu Treatments Found Fraudulent by FDA

Dec. 14, 2004 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warning letters to nine companies marketing bogus flu products behind claims that their products could be effective against preventing the avian flu or other forms of influenza. FDA is not aware of any scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety or effectiveness of these products for treating or preventing avian flu and the agency is concerned that the use of these products could harm consumers or interfere with conventional treatments. Read more...

Pandemic Planning Moves to Community Level

Feds gather state and local officials to develop cooperative plans

Dec. 5, 2005 – The U.S. effort to ward off a possible influenza pandemic went local today as Health and Human Services convened senior state and local officials at a meeting in Washington to focus on moving pandemic planning to the community level. Read more...

Flu Expert Calls For Mandatory Vaccination of Health Care Workers

Only 40 percent getting shots puts patients, in particular senior citizens, at high risk

Nov. 9, 2005 – Expressing a view that is sure to draw debate, a Johns Hopkins' senior hospital epidemiologist and flu expert is calling for mandatory vaccination of all health care workers as the best means of protecting patients and hospital staff from widespread outbreaks of the viral illness. Studies by other researchers show that voluntary vaccination programs don't do the job and that each year, nearly 40,000 Americans die from influenza, many of them elderly or ill, with weakened immune systems that cannot readily fend off the disease. Read more...

Pandemic Flu Plan for Health Care System Released by HHS

Nov. 2, 2005 – Health and Human Services got into the Pandemic strategic act today when HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt released the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan, which is described as “a detailed guide for how our nation's health care system can prepare and respond to an influenza pandemic.” The HHS plan is the medical and public health component of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, announced by the President yesterday. Read more...

Pandemic Flu Questions Answered by CDC Director

Nov. 1, 2005 - Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director, Centers for Disease Control, answers questions about the possible flu pandemic after President Bush outlines his strategy for the war on the pandemic. Read more...

President Asks Congress for $7.1 Billion for War on Pandemic

Bush outlines pandemic flu strategy of preparation and response

Nov. 1, 2005 – President Bush said today the key elements of the U.S. strategy to avoid the pandemic flu are to detect outbreaks anywhere in the world, to stockpile vaccines and antiviral drugs, as well as improve our ability to rapidly produce new vaccines, and prepare to respond at all levels of government should a pandemic reach the U.S. He also asked Congress for $7.1 billion in emergency funding to carry out the strategy. Read more...


Website on National Pandemic Strategy

Nov. 1, 2005 – At the same time President Bush was announcing his strategy for the war on the possible pandemic flu in the U.S., the White House posted a new Website called the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza. It is divided into sections that provide an easily searchable presentation. To visit the site – click here.


Doctor Charged for Fake Flu Shots Given to Senior Citizens

Oct. 31,205 – A doctor is accused of giving flu shots of purified water, rather than flu vaccine, to at least 14 senior citizens that lived in a nursing home near La Porte, Texas, and to more than 1,000 employees of Exxon Mobile near Baytown.  His motive, says the government, was to defraud Medicare. The news created a scary vision for many seniors this Halloween day. Read more...

Tamiflu Vaccine Shipments to U.S. Halted by Manufacturer

Tamiflu, Relenza antiviral drugs primarily for regular flu but seen as help in avian flu battle and hoarding suspected

Oct. 28, 2005 – The manufacturer of Tamiflu, a vaccine primarily for the regular seasonal flu, but also considered as help against avian flu, has announced a halt to shipments of their vaccine to the U.S. Excessive orders have led the company to believe their drug is being hoarded by companies anticipating a high demand if avian flu should emerge in this country. Read more...

Senior Citizens Needed for Testing First Avian Flu Vaccine

Oct. 28, 2005 – Senior citizens, age 65 and over, are needed for a clinical trial of the first vaccine that targets the deadly avian flu virus. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn., is now enrolling volunteers. Dr. Kathryn Edwards says 100 seniors are needed for this second phase of the study for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Read more...

HHS Increases Buy of Pandemic Bird Flu Vaccine to $162 Million

New contract to develop H5N1 vaccine is with Chiron Corporation

Oct. 27, 2005 – Health and Human Services has ordered an additional $62.5 million in influenza vaccine designed to combat the H5N1 avian flu virus that many fear will cause an international pandemic. In September, HHS awarded $100 million to Sanofi Pasteur for bird flu vaccine and announced an agreement with a German company to develop at least one vaccine for each of the 16 variations of a key influenza surface protein known as hemagglutinin (represented by the letter "H" in the names of influenza strains, such as H5N1). Read more...

Pandemic Flu Rapid Response Team Created by FDA, Warns of Fake Treatments

Team to help expedite vaccine, new drugs to fight avian (bird) flu

Oct. 24, 2005 - In response to the emerging threat of pandemic (Avian) influenza, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the formation of a Rapid Response Team to ensure that antiviral drugs are available to the American people - in particular high risk senior citizens, in the event they are needed. The agency also issued a warning about possible fake drugs and fraudulent treatments it suspects will emerge. Read more...

World's Pandemic Fighters to Gather in Geneva, Worry Grows of Bird Flu in Africa

UK asks for bids on 120 million vaccine doses, in US surgical mask in demand

Oct. 19, 2005 – While world leaders in the fight against avian flu prepare for a summit in early November, there is increasing worry of the bird flu’s spread to Africa, and the UK is asking for pandemic vaccine providers to bid on providing that country with 120 million doses. And, a distributor of surgical face masks used to avoid the flu says it is struggling to keep up with the U.S. demand. Read more...

FDA Attempts to Quell Growing Fear of Flu Vaccine Shortage, Again

Oct. 18, 2005 – With growing concern about another shortage of flu vaccine this year, the FDA issued a statement that it “anticipates the production of more vaccine than last year.” Yesterday, Chiron, the flu producer whose shutdown caused last year’s problem, said its U.S. flu vaccine deliveries will fall short of targets – less than 18 million doses of the 18 to 26 million projected. Read more...

The Basics About Bird Flu & Pandemics

Oct. 17, 2005 - The following information was prepared by the World Health Organization in response to the heightened interest in the avian (bird) flu that many see is the threat of a worldwide pandemic. This information was current on October 14, 2005.

The confirmation of outbreaks of avian influenza in birds in Romania and Turkey in the last few days has spurred extensive interest in the links between avian influenza and the potential for a human influenza pandemic. The problem has previously been confined to Asia.

Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable from the flu and need to stay informed.

About Avian Influenza and Its Transmission to Humans

Avian Influenza Frequently Asked Questions

Pandemic Influenza: Ten Things You Need To Know

Oct. 17, 2005 - The following information about flu pandemics was prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

About Influenza Pandemics by Centers for Disease Control

Rule Final to Require Flu Shots by Nursing Homes

Residents must get flu, pneumonia vaccine to keep Medicare, Medicaid

Oct. 7, 2005 – A rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid that requires nursing homes serving Medicare and Medicaid patients to provide immunizations against influenza and pneumococcal disease to all residents became official today with publication in the Federal Register. Read more...

Avian Flu Controllable in U.S. as Long as It’s “Bird Flu”

By Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell University

Oct. 6, 2005 - If a virulent strain of avian influenza ever struck the U.S. poultry industry, this country probably would fare better than many other nations, due to careful biosecurity procedures in force. As long as the disease stays primarily a bird flu, officials have some control, says Alfonso Torres, a government consultant on the issue. He is a former U.S. chief veterinary officer and director of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, a high-security animal laboratory previously operated by the USDA but now part of the Department of Homeland Security. Read more...

U.S. Makes Second Agreement for Anti-Pandemic Flu Vaccine

Developers targeting H5N1 virus that has caused Asian epidemic

Sept. 28, 2005 – In the second announcement within two weeks, Health and Human Services says an agreement has been signed to develop vaccines against avain flu viruses that have the potential to cause pandemics. Today, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said an agreement has been signed with MedImmune of Gaithersburg, Md., to produce and test these vaccines, including one for the H5N1 avian flu virus, which has caused an epidemic in Asia. Read more...

Clinics Others Open, Too

Largest National Pharmacies Offer In-Store Flu Shots

CVS opens October 1, Walgreens on October 3 – over 8,000 locations

Sept. 28, 2005 – The two largest pharmacy chains in the U.S. – Walgreens and CVS – are both offering flu shots in their stores with senior citizens a top priority through October 23. At CVS, flu shots begin October 1 and continue through November. Walgreens will offer shots from October 3 through November 18. Shots are free at both stores to those presenting their Medicare card with Medicare Part B coverage that has not been assigned to an HMO. Read more...

HHS Buys Vaccine, Antiviral to Combat Potential Flu Pandemic

Secretary voices support of International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza

Sept. 15, 2005 - HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the purchase of vaccine and antiviral medications that could be used in the event of a potential influenza pandemic. He also affirmed his commitment to the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza announced by President Bush yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly. Read more...

Health Experts Press Urgency in Flu Vaccinations

Senior citizens, others at high risk are priority for vaccinations through October 24

Sept. 14, 2005 – Government agencies and national health associations came together today for a press conference at the National Press Club to warn about the severity of influenza and pneumonia and call for renewed efforts to increase vaccination rates among senior citizens and others considered at high risk from these vaccine-preventable diseases. Read more...

FDA Approves New Fluarix Vaccine for Upcoming Flu Season

HHS says it is big step toward providing adequate supply

Aug. 31, 2005 - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Fluarix, an influenza vaccine for adults that contains inactivated virus. Fluarix is approved to immunize adults 18 years of age and older against influenza virus types A and B contained in the vaccine. Influenza is also commonly called the flu. Read more...

Nursing Homes Must Give Flu Shots: Medicare, Medicaid Say

Aug. 12, 2005 - Nursing homes serving Medicare and Medicaid patients would have to provide immunizations against influenza and pneumococcal disease to all residents if they want to continue in the programs, according to a proposed rule to be released by CMS in the August 15 Federal Register. Read more...

Flu Pandemic Could Be Stopped With Early Actions

Aug. 4, 2005 - A carefully chosen combination of public health measures, if implemented early, could stop the spread of an avian flu outbreak at its source, suggest two international teams of researchers in Nature (August 3) and Science (August 5). This deadly virus poses the potential threat of the flu pandemic that could kill thousands of people, with senior citizens being the most vulnerable. Read more...

Pandemic Flu Projection Says More Than Half Million Could Die in U.S.

Chart shows expected deaths, hospitalization, cases by state

June 24, 2005 - Trust for America's Health (TFAH) today released state-by-state projections that found over half a million Americans could die and over 2.3 million could be hospitalized if a moderately severe strain of a pandemic flu virus hits the U.S. Senior citizens and the elderly would be at high risk. Based on the model estimates, 66.9 million Americans are at risk of contracting the disease. Read more...see state chart

HHS Awards $97 Million Contract to Develop Cell Culture-Based Influenza Vaccine

Effort Designed to Diversify and Accelerate Vaccine Production to Enhance Pandemic Preparedness

April 3, 2005 – Health and Human Services has awarded a $97 million contract to Sanofi Pasteur to speed the production process for new influenza vaccines for the U.S. The five-year award supports the development of advanced techniques using a cell-based, rather than an egg-based, approach to producing influenza vaccines. The contract also calls for plans to establish a U.S.-based, cell cultured influenza vaccine manufacturing facility. Read more...

Value of Flu Vaccination in Preventing Elderly Deaths is Questioned

Feb. 15, 2005 - Studies which report that influenza vaccination reduces winter mortality risk among the elderly by 50 percent may substantially overestimate the vaccination benefit, according to the February 14 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine. Read more...

Flu Shots Benefit Anybody With High-Risk Medical Condition

Feb. 15, 2005 - Persons younger than 65 with high-risk medical conditions such as chronic lung and heart disease can substantially benefit from annual influenza vaccination during an epidemic, according to a study in the February 14 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine. Read more...

Flu Vaccine Available and Senior Citizens Should Get Shot

February is usually the worst month for influenza

Feb 15, 2005 – Midway in the month that most often sees the most influenza, the Centers for Disease Control says there are still millions of doses of flu vaccine available and senior citizens should continue to seek vaccinations from their local healthcare providers. Read more...

Latest Survey

Flu Shots Hitting Target Groups: Slightly Lower for Seniors, Big Gain in Babies

Feb. 15, 2005 – Flu vaccine reached a record number of babies in 2004 but the percentage of senior citizens and others receiving the vaccine was down slightly from 2003, according to the most recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control, which covered September through December of 2004. Read more...

Demonstration Project

Medicare Offers Help to Seniors With Flu

Jan. 7, 2004 – Senior citizens who get the flu can get assistance to help pay for antiviral medicines under a demonstration project announced today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). More... 1/7/05*

Caregivers, Adults Over 49 May Get Flu Shots in 2005

Availability will determine where these groups allowed

Dec. 20, 2004 – Effective January 3, 2005, the priority group for flu vaccine will be expanded in certain areas to include persons from age 50 through 64, out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of persons in high-risk groups. These areas will be determined by as where state and local health authorities judge vaccine supply to be adequate to meet demand. More... 12/20/04*

Get Prepared for Pandemic from Avian Flu Virus, Says World Health Organization

Estimates of deaths range from two to fifty million; seniors, children most at risk

Dec. 9, 2004 - The World Health Organization and influenza experts worldwide are concerned that the recent appearance and widespread distribution of an avian influenza virus, Influenza A (H5N1), has the potential to ignite the next flu pandemic. All avian influenza viruses are not the same, however, and the strains found in North America have not been H5N1. More... 12/09/04*

HHS Purchases 1.2 Million Doses of Flu Vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline Vaccine Adds To 61 Million Doses In United States

Dec. 7, 2004 - HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced today that the Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of GlaxoSmithKline influenza vaccine, Fluarix, in the United States under an Investigational New Drug application. Additionally, HHS has reached an agreement with the company to purchase 1.2 million doses of the vaccine for distribution to areas most in need. More... 12/07/04*

New Budget Has $100 Million to Avoid Flu Vaccine Shortage in 2005

Nov. 24, 2004 – The federal budget for 2005 that was approved by Congress, includes $100 million to enhance the flu vaccine supply next year. The American Public Health Association greeted the action as good news that will “provide for year-round production” and the purchase of additional vaccine to avoid future shortages. More... 11/24/04*

Plans to Prevent Another Flu Vaccine Shortage: Topic for Senate Aging Committee

Hearing Tuesday features FDA commissioner, CDC official and others

Nov. 15, 2004 - The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing tomorrow featuring testimony by Lester M. Crawford, Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, about the flu vaccine shortage and plans to prevent this happening next year. More... 11/15/04*

NIAID Launches Expanded Flu Web Site

Nov. 15, 2004 - The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) today launched its updated Web site on influenza research. Titled "Focus on the Flu," the Web site spotlights cutting-edge NIAID-supported research; graphics that illuminate concepts important to understanding influenza research, such as reverse genetics and antigenic shift and drift; health-related facts sheets; recent NIAID publications and Congressional testimony; and other flu resources.

The Web site is available at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/newsroom/FocusOn/Flu04.

Pneumonia Vaccine Critical for Elderly, Even With Flu Shot

Nov. 9, 2004 – Two years ago, almost 60,000 Americans 65 and older died from pneumonia – many more than from influenza. Many of the elderly may not be aware there is a vaccine for pneumonia and that they should seek this life-saving protection from their doctor, even if they get a flu shot. More... 11/09/04*

What is Pneumococcal Pneumonia?

Nov. 9, 2004 - Pneumococcal pneumonia primarily causes illness in children younger than 2 years old and adults 65 years of age or older. The elderly are especially vulnerable to getting seriously ill and dying from this disease. More... 11/09/04*

Flu Shot Protects Elderly from Death by Many Causes

Nov. 3, 2004 – Missing an annual flu shot by an elderly person can put their lives at jeopardy from more than just influenza, according a new research. The study from the Netherlands says senior citizens who have a yearly flu vaccination have reduced risk of death from all causes. More... 11/03/04*

Seniors Worried Abut Flu Vaccine Shortage Now Must Worry About “Flu Pandemic”

Pandemic could cause deaths of tens of millions, says World Health Organization, that has called for global summit

Nov. 1, 2004 – If the shortage of flu vaccine was not enough to keep seniors worried, we now have the “flu pandemic,” which the U.N.’s World Health Organization says is “closer than ever.” They have called for a world summit on November 11. The flu killed about 36,000 in the U.S. last year and a million worldwide. Tens of millions can die in a pandemic, which occurs ever 20 to 30 years. Here is what you need to know about a pandemic. More... 11/01/04*

Flu Prevention Update

4.2 Million Flu Vaccine Doses Shipped This Week for High-Priority Groups

Now 9 million doses to these special needs groups, antiviral drugs stockpiled for use

Oct. 30, 2004- Over 4.2 million influenza vaccine doses were shipped this week to health providers serving high-priority groups as part of the plan announced on October 12 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Aventis Pasteur. The Department of Health and Human Services also said yesterday in has purchased a stockpile of antiviral drugs to treat more than 7 million people. More... 10/30/04*

FDA Finds Five Million New Doses of Flu Vaccine

Oct. 28, 2004 – The Food and Drug Administration has identified about 5 million new doses of influenza vaccine from foreign manufacturers; HHS has been able to recoup an additional 300,000 doses of the injectable vaccine originally bought for federal employees and the military; and a major pneumonia vaccine manufacturer plans to triple its production. More... 10/28/04*

Antiviral Drugs Promoted for Flu Prevention, Treatment

Oct. 19, 2004 – Three antiviral drugs are now being emphasized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a means of “preventing” the flu. Amantadine, rimantadine, and oseltamivir have been approved for flu prevention but not as a substitute for influenza vaccination. These drugs may be an acceptable alternative for those who are unable to find flu vaccinations due to the shortage. More... 10/19/04*

U.S. Turning to Canada for Drugs – Flu Vaccine

Oct. 19, 2004 – Just like many senior citizens, the U.S. government is turning to Canada for drugs, according to HHC Secretary Tommy Thompson, who announced today the U.S. is negotiating with Canada to buy flu vaccine to help solve the shortage in the U.S. More... 10/19/04*

FDA Confirms Chiron Flu Vaccine Not Usable, Says Search for More Vaccine Continues

Oct. 16, 2004 - Just to make it official - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a statement late yesterday confirming the earlier decision by British inspectors that the Chiron influenza vaccine is not save for use. But, the FDA did say the search for more vaccine is continuing. More... 10/16/04*

States Urged to Investigate, Prosecute Flu Vaccine Price-Gougers

Oct. 14, 2004 –Attorneys General in each state was urged today to thoroughly investigate reports of price gouging involving the flu vaccine and to prosecute all found to be taking advantage of the vaccine shortage. The encouragement was in a letter from Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. More... 10/14/04*

Most Hospitals Have Been Offered Flu Vaccine at Inflated Prices

Oct. 13, 2004 – Most hospital pharmacy directors say they have been contacted by vendors offering to sell flu vaccine at “highly inflated” prices, since the vaccine shortage was announced on October 5. More... 10/13/04*

CDS Announces Plan to Help Get Flu Vaccine to Most Needy

Oct. 12, 2004 - The first phase of a plan to control the shipment of available influenza vaccine to help assure those most in need get the shots, was announced today at a news conference by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Aventis Pasteur company. More... 10/12/04*

Best Place for Latest Information on Flu Shots is Online

Maxim Health updating FindaFluShot.com everyday

Oct. 12, 2004 – The best place we have found for getting the latest information on flu shots and where to get them is at the Maxim Health System’s Website - www.findaflushot.com. A unique service is the Flu Shot Locator, where users can enter their location and the site will provide information on the nearest location for flu vaccinations. The site is updated daily. More... 10/12/04*

All 65 and Older on Priority List for Flu Shots Issued After Sudden Shortage Erupts

Oct. 6, 2004 – In response to the sudden news of a critical shortage in the supply of flu vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control in the Department of Health and Human Services has issued new guidelines concerning who should receive priority for the vaccinations this season, as has the American Medical Association. More... 10/06/04*

Flu Shot Crisis Erupts as Major Supplier Shutdown

Oct. 5, 2004 – A major flu shot shortage in the U.S. emerged today after the major supplier’s plant was shutdown abruptly by British health officials. Officials are suggesting the U.S. may have to ration the vaccine. More... 10/05/04*

32,000 Senior Citizens Died From Flu Last Year -- Record Amount of Vaccine Available This Year

Senate hearing held as the U.S. conducts National Adult Immunization Awareness Week

Sept. 29, 2004 – The flu killed 36,000 Americans last year – more than 32,000 were 65 or older – despite the highest immunization rate ever. Over 83 million were immunized but still only six of every ten senior citizens received the life-saving shots, according to testimony yesterday before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. The flu and pneumonia (the most common complication of the flu) combined are the fifth leading cause of death among Americans age 65 and older. More... 9/29/04*

Urgent Call for Senior Citizens to Get Flu, Pneumonia Vaccinations

Medicare Part B, Medicaid Will Pay For Treatment

Sept. 23, 2004 – U.S. health officials said today that increased hospitalizations for influenza convinced them to urge Americans at high risk – particularly senior citizens – to seek flu immunization. They also stressed persons 65 or older should also get pneumonia vaccinations. More... 9/23/04*