The Centers for Disease Control, CDC, says it is particularly important this year that residents, especially senior citizens, get flu shots because the coronavirus has put an unprecedented strain on America’s healthcare resources. As CDC epidemiologist Mark Thompson put it in a recent article published by NPR: “No year is a good year to get the flu, but this year — with COVID-19 also raging — it’s especially bad.”
Recalling the deadly outbreak of the Spanish Flu in 1918, the same article described the need to promote the flu vaccine this year as “arguably the most important U.S. effort to prevent influenza’s spread among Americans in a century.”
“Indeed, there is an extensive list of the benefits of flu shots, the newest of which is research that shows the flu vaccine and the pneumonia vaccine are linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s Disease,” reported Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
Weber explained that research reports presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference recently show that flu shots may reduce the risk of the disease. She cited an Alzheimer’s Association news release that describes several separate studies.
One of the studies was conducted by a team led by researcher Albert Amran at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. They used a nationwide database of 9,000 individuals 60 years of age and older and found that those who had a flu shot had at least a 17 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s.
Another study carried out at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina by Dr. Svetlana Ukraintseva found the Alzheimer’s risk for people between the ages of 65 and 75 who had been vaccinated against pneumonia was reduced by as much as 40 percent. That study was conducted among 5,146 participants.
The Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer, Dr. Maria Carrillo, noted that the research presented at the Association’s conference “calls for further studies in large, diverse clinical trials to inform whether vaccinations as a public health strategy decrease our risk for developing dementia as we age.”