Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 23, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 12


Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 23, 2023 




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Dear Savvy Senior: Which vaccines are recommended for 
Medicare seniors this flu season?

Just Turned 65 


Dear Just Turned:

There are actually three different types of vaccines seniors 
should consider getting this fall to protect against 
a repeat of last winter’s “tripledemic” of respiratory illnesses, 
which included flu, RSV and coronavirus. Here’s 
a rundown of the different vaccines the Centers for Disease 
Con-trol and Prevention (CDC) is recommending 
and how they are covered by Medicare.


Senior-Specific Flu Shots

For people age 65 and older, there are three flu vaccines 
(you only need one) that the CDC rec-ommends over 
traditional flu shots.

 These FDA-approved vaccines provide extra protection 
beyond what a standard flu shot does, which is important 
for older adults who have weaker immune defenses 
and have a greater risk of developing dangerous flu complications 
compared with younger, healthy adults. The 
three senior-specific options include the:

• Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, 
which contains four times the amount of anti-gen as 
a regular flu shot does, creating a stronger immune 
response for better protection.

• Fluad Quadrivalent vaccine, which contains an 
added ingredient called adjuvant MF59 that also helps 
create a stronger immune response.

• FluBlok Quadrivalent vaccine, is a recombinant 
protein (egg-free) flu vaccine that contains three 
times the amount of antigen as compared with a regular 
flu shot.


There isn’t enough evidence yet to indicate whether one 
of these three vaccines provides superior protection over 
the other two for seniors.


As for side effects, you should know that the Fluzone 
High-Dose and Fluad vaccines can cause more of the 
mild side effects that can occur with a standard-dose 
flu shot, like pain or tenderness where you got the shot, 
muscle aches, headache or fatigue. While the side effects 
of Flublok tend to be a little less frequent.

All flu vaccines are covered 100 percent by Medicare 
Part B as long as your doctor, health clinic or pharmacy 
agrees not to charge you more than Medicare pays.


RSV Vaccines

Anyone age 60 and older, especially if you have any heart 
or lung conditions, diabetes, kidney or liver disorders 
that make you vulnerable to the respiratory syncytial 
virus (RSV) should consider getting one of the new FDA 
approved RSV vaccines (either Arexvy or Abrysvo).


These vaccines, recommended by the CDC, will help 
protect older and immunocompromised adults from respiratory 
illness, which is responsible for 6,000 to 10,000 
deaths and at least 60,000 hospitalizations each year in 
seniors 65 and older.


The new RSV vaccines are covered by Medicare (Part D) 
prescription drug plans.


Updated Covid Booster

If you haven’t had a Covid-19 booster shot lately, you 
should consider getting one this fall. Even though the 
Covid public health emergency has ended and the number 
of cases has gone way down, it has been surging in 
recent months causing an increase in hospitalizations, 
especially among the elderly. 


The updated Covid vaccine targets the XBB omicron 
subvariants that are some of the most dom-inate coronavirus 
variants circulating in the U.S. It will also provide 
protection against the EG.5 variant (Eris), which is 
closely related to the XBB. 


Covid booster shots are covered 100 percent by Medicare 
Part B.


When and Where

Most health officials agree that it’s safe to receive the 
flu and Covid booster at the same time. But because the 
RSV vaccines are new this year, many doctors are recommending 
a two-week window between an RSV shot 
and the flu and/or the COVID shots.


You can find all three vaccines at most pharmacies, 
medical clinics and health departments, or you can do 
a search at


Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 
5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim 
Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author 
of “The Savvy Senior” book.

PLATEAUS by Michele Silence

Michele Silence, M.A. is a 37-year certified fitness 
professional who offers semi-private/virtual fitness 
classes and a weight management support group. 
If you have questions or ideas for this column 

contact Michele at 

Visit her Facebook page at: michelesfitness.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder

You've been consistently working out for a while

 now, establishing a manageable routine, and 
have seen positive results. You've shed some 
weight, your clothes fit better, and your overall 
health has improved. But just when you thought 
you were on a path to continuous improvement, 
you hit a roadblock. What can you do to push 
past this plateau and keep making substantial 

First, it's crucial to monitor your progress 

accurately. Sometimes, you might feel stuck 

 you're actually making gains. Relying solely on 

scale to measure your results can be misleading.

 Losing fat and gaining muscle may not show 

 change on the scale, but you'll notice it in how 
your clothes fit or through body measurements. 
Muscle takes up less space than fat, so even if 
you replace 5 pounds of fat with 5 pounds of 
muscle, your weight won't change, but you'll be 
smaller. Keep track of measurements like your 
chest, waist, hips, thighs, and arms. Note any 
medications you're taking and their dosages. 
Record changes in your sleep patterns, appetite, 
and general well-being. If you see improvements 
in these areas every 6-8 weeks, you're still 
on the right track. Monitoring these details will 
help you make necessary adjustments for ongoing 

Additionally, pay attention to your exercise 
routine. Introduce variety into your workouts. 
Repeating the same exercises over and over 
allows your body to adapt and become more 
efficient at performing them. You can break 
through this by trying different activities, rotating 
exercises at the gym, and changing your 
routine periodically. Gradually increasing the 
intensity or resistance of your workouts by lifting 
heavier weights, doing more reps, or adding 
challenges to your cardio activities (like walking 
uphill) can challenge your body. This not 
only helps overcome plateaus but also elevates 
your motivation.

Listening to your body is vital. Overexerting 
yourself without adequate rest can stall your 
progress and even lead to injuries. Ask yourself 
if you're getting enough sleep. Insufficient sleep 
can hinder muscle recovery and, consequently, 
your ability to gain strength and endurance. 
Don't forget to stretch after each workout, 
whether it's a simple walk or a more intense 
weightlifting session. Muscles need to stretch 
to reduce tension and elongate properly. Both 
are important to help improve coordination be

tween different muscle groups. And, necessary 
for movements requiring precise or complex 
muscle coordination.

Your diet plays a crucial role too. Eat a balanced, 
nutritious diet, and be mindful of emotional 
eating. Use a calendar to link your emotions to 
your daily eating habits. Pay attention to your 
body's signals of fullness and avoid those last 
few bites. Prioritize fruits and vegetables as they 
provide essential nutrients for a strong, healthy 
body and a robust immune system. Incorporate 
lean protein sources into your diet, especially 
when starting a fitness routine to build muscle 
initially. Include nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, 
and whole grains in your daily food intake. 
Keep in mind that consuming too few calories, 
fewer than 1000 a day, can slow down your 
metabolism as your body struggles to function 
with limited nutrition.

Stress can also be a significant hindrance. 
Chronic stress triggers the release of cortisol, 
which can lead to muscle breakdown and increased 
fat storage, particularly around the 
abdominal area. Definitely not desirable for 
reaching your fitness goals. Stress also promotes 
inflammation in the body, resulting 
in muscle stiffness, reduced mobility, and decreased 
performance. This means you may not 
be as agile or have the same stamina as before, 
making it harder to perform at your best. Stress 
can easily lead to skipping workouts and a lack 
of motivation. Consider practices like meditation 
and deep breathing to manage stress and 
maintain your progress.

Lastly, don't rule out any medical reasons for a 
fitness plateau. Undiagnosed health issues or 
medication side effects can hinder progress, as 
can psychological factors such as depression 
and negative thinking. Don’t ignore genetic 
factors, they can influence how fast your body 
responds to exercise. Some people truly have a 
harder time building muscle or losing fat. Keep 
in mind metabolism and muscle mass naturally 


The last month has been crazy 
for me and The Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage. 
Every month has its crazy 
element, but this past month 
beats them all.

 First, my main computer crashed, and 
I lost a lot of stuff.

 Second, we had a hurricane that came 
through; fortunately, it was only thunder, rain 
and loss of electricity.

 Third, I came down with what the 
doctor said was acute bronchitis. I told him I 
did not think any of this bronchitis was cute.

 Fourth, my next book manuscript is 
due this month.

 That was just the main highlight of 
the past month, and by the time it was over, 
I was over the hill. I just felt washed out and 
needed a little bit of rest.

 I resumed working on my book. Then, 
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came 
and said she would be gone for the day with 
one of our daughters—thrift store shopping.

 I told her to have a great time, and she 
said she would be back sometime in the afternoon 
and that I had to get my lunch. That 
was okay with me. I sat back in my chair with 
my computer and resumed working on my 
manuscript. I was finally getting caught up 
and would soon be finished.

 Taking a break, I got up, got a fresh 
cup of coffee, returned to my chair, sat down 
and relaxed. There was this strange thought 
in the back of my head that I could not clarify.

After several sips of coffee, I leaned back 
and looked around to see what was missing. 
Something was missing, and I just could not 
put my finger on it.

 After my kind of week, it is no wonder 
my brain is not working as well as it should. 
However, I thought I would relax and see if 
anything came to mind.

 The whole day was before me, and I 
was thinking of what I would do for lunch 
when I could not get this gnawing thought 
out of my head. It was like a rat gnawing up in 
the attic and was so un-settling. It was right 
before me, but I could not get my focus clear.

 Oh well, I sighed, took another sip 
of coffee, set my cup down, and was about to 
go back to work when the thought suddenly 
jumped out in front of me.

 I love it when a plan comes together.

I saw for the very first time what was missing. 
After a month of all kinds of hectic activity, 
I needed something to relax me. At first, 
I could not figure out what it was, but then it 
came to me.

 What I needed was a little treat. What 
harm is a little treat when you need to relax?

I looked at my watch, saw the time, and realized 
that The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
would not return for another four 
hours. That gave me plenty of time to deal 
with my treat.

 You guessed it, that treat was an Apple 
Fritter. What harm does a little treat like 
that have when you deserve it? And, boy, do I?

I quickly got into my truck and headed to 
Publix. I was about to buy one Apple fritter 
when an-other thought came to mind. Why 
not buy two apple fritters? What harm do two 
little treats have?

 Without hesitation, I got the two apple 
fritters and took them to the cash register, 
hoping nobody would recognize me. My bad 
luck was that the cashier was a friend of my 
wife and knew about the apple fritters controversy. 
“Does your wife know you’re getting 
these apple fritters?”

 After stuttering for a few seconds, I 
said, “Well, she’s away for the day and gave me 
permission to get my own lunch for today.” I 
smiled at her, paid for the apple fritters, left 
the store and went home.

Getting a fresh cup of coffee, I took that and 
the apple fritters to my easy chair to sit back 
and enjoy this little treat. After all, I earned 
every bite.

 After a few hours of work, The Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage finally came 
home and walked into the kitchen area with 
a bag of groceries. I noticed on the bag was 
the word Publix. I hoped she had a different 
cashier than I did. “So,” my wife said as she 
entered my room, “I hear you were at Publix 
this morning.”

“Yes, my dear, you told me I needed to get my 
own lunch for the day and that’s why I went to 
Publix.” “Did you get an Apple fritter?”

Now, my words need to be very precise. “No, 
my dear. I did not get ‘AN’ Apple fritter.”

 The look she gave me made me realize 
she did not believe me. What I said was true 
but it was not the whole truth. That got me 
remembering what Solomon said, “He that 
covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso 
confesseth and forsaketh them shall have 
mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

 According to Solomon, half a truth is 
still a lie if it makes the other person believe 
what is not the whole truth. I knew what I had 
to do. As much as it pained me, I had to confess 
to The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
that I had two Apple Fritters.

Smiling at me she simply said, “I know.”

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. 

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