It’s been a tough year for the flu in Oregon. While flu season may be peaking, historical data from the Oregon Health Authority shows that influenza seasons typically run from November to April. So it’s definitely not too late to give your immune system a boost!

Typically, flu infects between 10 percent and 20 percent of the population. But if you are an older person caring for children, you may be at increased risk of exposure to the flu virus. Kids in school are perfectly designed transport systems to spread flu quickly.

While flu seasons vary in severity, people 65 years and older bear a comparatively greater burden of serious flu related illness compared to other age groups during most years. The vaccine isn’t perfect, of course, but based on previous flu seasons, the Centers for Disease Control estimate that flu vaccines reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor for flu illness by 45% among people 65 and older.

If you’re concerned about out-of-pocket expenses for your vaccine, remember that Medicare covers most or all costs. If you have concerns or questions, talk to your doctor or other health care professional. If you are caregiving, be sure to mention that you are living with school age children.

While you are at it, ask about whether you should receive the pneumococcal (new mo COCK al) vaccine and where you can get the treatment.

Now the hard part, “You might feel a little sting!”