A disturbing report from the San Antonio based Medicare advantage provider Clover Health shows more than one third of San Antonians over the age of 60 have still not gotten their flu shot, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Lynda Okafor, a Nurse Practitioner with Clover Health, says that is not good news, considering we are now at the start of the most serious part of flu season.
"Peak season for flu is between December and February," she said. "The most cases are actually reported in February, so it is not too late to get your flu shot."
Okafor says she has heard the same excuses from people over sixty about why they haven't rolled up their sleeves.
"A lot of the seniors are hesitant to get the flu shot because they are afraid they will get the flu from the vaccination," she said. "And many say the flu shot isn't worth getting, that they don't need it to stay healthy."
She says both of those are urban legends, especially the discredited old story that getting the flu shot gives you the flu. She also suspects there is a little bit of 'anti-vaxxer' sentiment at play as well, the incorrect assumption that all vaccines are inherently dangerous.
The study also showed that people over sixty who were low income and live in rural areas are less likely to get a flu shot.
Okafor points out that 80,000 Americans died of complications from the flu during the last season, and many of those were people over sixty.
She says indications are that this season could be even worse.
"The number of people going to the ER with flu like symptoms is very high," she said. "I am assuming it will be as bad as last year, and maybe worse."