There are two kinds of flu shots: an inactivated virus given by injection and a live (weakened) virus given via nasal spray. Most physicians will recommend that their hospice or palliative care patients receive the inactivated virus because the nasal spray carries an increased risk of flu infection in patients with weakened immune systems. The flu shot is inactivated, meaning "not live" flu virus and will not give you the flu.
Even if you are spending most or all of your time indoors, you can still get the flu. Family, friends, and caregivers are bringing in every germ they come in contact with every time they come in your residence. The only way to really protect yourself is to get the vaccine. It's also very important to remind your visitors and caregivers to practice good hand washing.
If you are a palliative care or hospice patient and you haven't gotten a flu shot yet, talk with your doctor as soon as possible about whether the flu shot is right for you.
If you are a caregiver, you can probably guess why getting vaccinated is important. Not only will it protect you from getting the flu, it will protect your loved one as well. The American College of Physicians recommends everyone that is in direct contact with patients get the flu vaccine. This includes family and friends providing care.
Talk with your physician about getting the flu vaccine if you haven't already. Your physician may recommend you get the inactivated shot if your hospice or palliative care patient has a weakened immune system.
Flu season is in full swing but it's not too late to get your vaccine. Talk with your doctor today.