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Alzheimer’s Insights: Getting the flu shot when one has Alzheimer’s

Scott Finley

Everyone has their eyes on this year’s flu season, which is predicted to hit amidst the deadly global COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC and other health agencies are already issuing strong recommendations to the public to get their flu shot this year.

At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2020, we highlighted new data that suggests getting a flu shot — especially multiple vaccinations over the years — may decrease Alzheimer’s incidence by nearly 20%.

This is the first-ever scientific study to suggest this relationship.

Vaccination against pneumonia between ages 65 and 75 reduced Alzheimer’s risk by up to 40% depending on individual genes.

Meanwhile, individuals with dementia have a higher risk of dying (6-fold) after infections than those without dementia (3-fold).

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines are at the forefront of public health discussions. It is important to explore their benefit in not only protecting against viral or bacterial infection but also improving long-term health outcomes,” said Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer.

And just a reminder – you can always get the latest information about the Association’s COVID-19 emergency preparedness guidelines for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in long-term or community-based care settings here:

https://alz.org/professionals/professional-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-tips-for-dementia-caregivers

The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

Scott Finley is Media Relations Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association® in Texas.  He can be reached at scfinley@alz.org