No one likes getting a flu shot, but the pandemic has made it imperative this year — especially if you are over the age of 65.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 75% of last year's flu fatalities affected those 65 and over, and that same population accounts for 79% of COVID-19 deaths. 

Aside from the obvious benefit of preventing the flu during a pandemic, new research from the Alzheimer's Association shows that flu vaccinations are associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer's.

Researchers at The University of Texas' McGovern Medical School found that those who had received at least one flu vaccine were associated with a 17% reduction in Alzheimer's incidence, while those who had received more than one were associated with a 30% reduction.

"Now, there is a saying that correlation is not causation," said Jim Herlihy, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications with the Alzheimer's Association's Colorado Chapter, in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "But if there is any crossover, any causation there...if getting the vaccine helps you avoid the flu and gives you this benefit of reduction in risk for Alzheimer''s certainly a huge benefit."

The flu shot isn't the only vaccination presenting promising results for Alzheimer's patients.

A study conducted at Duke University showed that the pneumonia vaccine can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's by 25-30% in those between 65 and 75 years of age.

If you are in that age range, the Alzheimer's Association recommends making an appointment with your doctor to discuss the benefits of getting vaccinated.

As for those who are already affected by the disease, Herlihy wants the public to know that the Alzheimer's Association is always there to provide support.

"The changes that come with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are dramatic and it's something that's difficult for people to cope with," he said. "But the reality is that you're not alone."

To learn more about the correlation between vaccinations and a reduction in Alzheimer's, listen to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Jim Herlihy below.

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