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Area Elderly at Greater Risk from Flu Complications

The area as well as the state has one of the nation’s oldest populations and health officials are zeroing in on the state as flu season approaches in the midst of the pandemic. Lindsay Clarke, vice president of health education and advocacy at the Alliance for Aging Research, says there was a troubling drop in routine vaccinations last year, including fewer people getting the flu shot.

Flu and pneumonia, plus the common cold, may get confused with COVID-19 variants this fall, which is likely to wreak further havoc on Iowa’s health care system. Clarke says it’s vital for older Iowans especially to get the flu shot.

Clarke says it’s more important than ever that older adults stay up-to-date on their annual vaccinations and this is the ideal time to get a flu shot.

Through this past March, state health officials say five Iowans had died from the flu, compared to the previous flu season that claimed 35 Iowans’ lives. Nationwide, some 450 people were killed by the flu last season, versus 22,000 flu deaths the previous season.

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