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    Feb 23, 2024 17 Minute Read

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    Identifying At-Risk Populations of Respiratory Viruses

    As mentioned above, the at-risk populations of viruses are thought to be very young or very old, and immune-compromised populations. That's why getting vaccines that can help reduce preventable illness—like the influenza vaccine—can help minimize the severity of symptoms. This is important for your health and those you are around, like older and younger relatives. But many people in an at-risk population might not know it—if they're living with undiagnosed heart disease, for example. Some people may have an underlying condition they are unaware of until they get sick and then require specialty care to deal with severe symptoms and side effects.

    Reducing Disease Burden

    Preventing infectious diseases through vaccination helps not only to help one's own health but the health of those in at-risk populations. That's why children are often recommended to receive vaccinations in their first five years or so of life. It's to protect them from vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, as well as prevent outbreaks in the community. Reducing disease burden through vaccinations and healthy practices like good hygiene and isolating when ill can help reduce disease transmission.

    This is also why many schools in the U.S. require certain vaccinations before students are admitted. These rules protect all of the children and staff from outbreaks, severe illnesses, hospitalizations, and further disease transition.

    Luckily, getting vaccinated with an immunity shot in the U.S. is easy, especially if you book online using RiteAid's Scheduler tool.

    Learn more about the at-risk populations most likely to be impacted by common viruses and how vaccines can help reduce complications for these groups.

    Influenza (Flu) Shot

    Getting the annual flu shot can help reduce the risk of experiencing severe influenza-related complications, that lead to hospitalizations and even death.

    The flu can be spread to others before symptoms even show up, which is why it's important to get the flu vaccine each year. The flu shot can't give you the flu.

    High-risk groups for the influenza virus are the following:

    • Children younger than 5 years old, in particular younger than 2
    • Pregnant women
    • Adults over age 50, particularly those who are over 65
    • People who are very overweight
    • People with specific health conditions, like people with diabetes, asthma, sickle cell anemia, metabolic disorders, lung disease, heart disease, kidney or liver disease
    • Someone with a weakened immune system, particularly if they are living with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy
    • Someone with a disorder that may cause breathing problems, including nerve, muscle and seizure disorders
    • Children and adolescents who receive long-term aspirin therapy
    • People living in care facilities or nursing homes
    • American Indians and Alaskan Natives

    Talk to your doctor about the flu vaccine and if they recommend a flu vaccine that's specific for someone over age 65.

    COVID-19 Vaccines

    The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that quite a few at-risk populations might not have considered themselves a high-risk population until this virus swept the globe. The COVID-19 immunity shot can help reduce the spread of the virus by limiting the severity of symptoms which can contribute to the spread.


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    Identifying At-Risk Populations of Respiratory Viruses

    As mentioned above, the at-risk populations of viruses are thought to be very young or very old, and immune-compromised populations. That's why getting vaccines that can help reduce preventable illness—like the influenza vaccine—can help minimize the severity of symptoms. This is important for your health and those you are around, like older and younger relatives. But many people in an at-risk population might not know it—if they're living with undiagnosed heart disease, for example. Some people may have an underlying condition they are unaware of until they get sick and then require specialty care to deal with severe symptoms and side effects.

    Reducing Disease Burden

    Preventing infectious diseases through vaccination helps not only to help one's own health but the health of those in at-risk populations. That's why children are often recommended to receive vaccinations in their first five years or so of life. It's to protect them from vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, as well as prevent outbreaks in the community. Reducing disease burden through vaccinations and healthy practices like good hygiene and isolating when ill can help reduce disease transmission.