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If you’re dreading this year’s flu shot—we don’t blame you. No one wants to subject him or herself to a sometimes-painful needle injection that doesn’t always seem mandatory. But while flu shots might not be required, they are strongly encouraged by the medical community—for good reason. The flu is a serious disease that can lead to pneumonia, hospitalizations, and death—especially if you’re over age 65. During the 2014-2015 flu season, adults 65 years and older accounted for 61 percent of flu-related hospitalizations and 79 percent of influenza and pneumonia-related deaths