Influenza And Preinfluenza Seasons
To improve the specificity of our outcomes, we defined a regional influenza season for each VAMC, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention multistate reporting regions . For each VAMC, we assigned season start and end dates based on influenza activity reported for that region. Using weekly reports of the percentage of positive influenza tests among all influenza tests performed in each region, we defined the regional influenza season as the weeks when the percentage of positive tests was 10% . We also defined a preinfluenza season as the period between 1 June 2010 and 31 August 2010, when the percentage of positive influenza tests was < 10% nationally .
Types Of Flu Shots For Seniors
As you age, its normal for your body to respond less to vaccines. Older people who get the flu shot generally have a weaker immune response than younger people who get the vaccine. But the vaccine is still effective in reducing medical visits and hospitalizations for the flu.
Some flu shots are designed to cause a stronger immune response. These flu vaccines can offer greater protection for people 65 and older. There are two types of senior flu shots that are licensed only for people 65 and older.
Can You Get Two For Better Coverage
The currently available enhanced vaccines protect against three flu strains, whereas the standard vaccine protects against four.
But for most people, there is no evidence that receiving multiple doses of different vaccines in any one year is any better than getting a single dose of vaccine.
In theory, the four-strain vaccines protect against one more strain than the enhanced three-strain vaccines. But in most seasons, few infections are caused by the fourth strain.
There are some specific groups of people for whom two doses may be recommended, including young children receiving the vaccine for the first time, and some people with bone marrow or organ transplants. Seek advice from your doctor if this describes you or your childrens situation.
Its important to note that none of the standard or enhanced flu vaccines are completely protective they reduce, but dont completely eliminate, the risk of getting influenza.
A single dose of any influenza vaccine in each season is the most effective strategy to reduce your chance of getting influenza.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Flu Mist
Frequently Asked Questions On High Dose Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
What is Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent influenza vaccine?Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is an influenza vaccine manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur Inc., designed specifically for people 65 years and older.
What is the difference between regular Influenza vaccine and Fluzone High-Dose?High-Dose vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen contained in regular flu shots. The additional antigen is intended to create a stronger immune response in the person getting the vaccine. This flu season the high dose flu vaccine newly helps protect against four different strains of influenza and is Quadrivalent instead of three in years past.
Why is a higher dose vaccine available for adults 65 and older?Human immune defenses become weaker with age, which places older people at greater risk of severe illness from influenza. Also, ageing decreases the body’s ability to have a good immune response after getting influenza vaccine. A higher dose of antigen in the vaccine is supposed to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against the flu.
Who can get this vaccine?Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is approved for use in people 65 years of age and older and Atrius Health locations administer the high-dose flu vaccine to patients 65 years and older.
Who Can Receive Fluzone High
In the United States, Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is licensed only for people 65 years and older. Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is not recommended for people with a history of severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or to ingredients other than eggs. Information about vaccine ingredients is located in package inserts from each manufacturer.
Also Check: How Much Is A Cvs Flu Shot
So It Offers More Protection From The Flu
Exactly. A 2014 study published in The New England Journal of Clinical Medicine, which involved more than 30,000 adults aged 65 and older, found that participants who received the high-dose flu vaccine had 24% fewer flu illnesses compared to those who got the standard flu vaccine.
Another study, carried out during the 2013-2014 flu season and published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine in 2017, found that the high-dose flu shot was associated with a lower risk of hospital admissions compared with the regular flu shot in people age 65 and over. This was particularly true for those living in long-term care facilities.
Who Shouldnt Get Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine
Different influenza vaccines are approved for use in people in different age groups. In addition, some vaccines are not recommended for certain groups of people. Factors that can determine a persons suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a persons age, health and any allergies to flu vaccine or its components. For more information, visit Who Should and Who Should NOT get a Flu Vaccine.
You May Like: Are There 2 Types Of Flu Vaccines
This Season’s Flu Vaccines
This year, 81% of the flu vaccine supply will be quadrivalent meaning it will include the four influenza strains that are anticipated to be the major pathogens in this winters flu season.
Typically, thats determined by noting the most active strains from last years flu season, and the top strains in the southern hemispheres flu season. Flu viruses go there while we enjoy summer here in the northern hemisphere.
If you play Scrabble, it might interest you to know that this years vaccine contains an A/Brisbane/02/2018 Apdm09-like virus, an A/Kansas/14/2017 A-like virus, a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus and a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.
According to the CDC, those are the strains currently making the early rounds of influenza across the U.S., so that correlation with the vaccine is good news.
This years Fluzone High-Dose contains just three flu strains , and does not contain the B/Phuket strain, which makes up just 1.6% of flu cases so far this year. But earlier this month, Sanofi Pasteur the French pharmaceutical company that produces Fluzone High-Dose received FDA approval to market a quadrivalent version for the 2020-21 flu season.
Evidence Behind The High
A study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal found the high-dose vaccine to be 22 percent more effective than the standard dose vaccine for flu prevention among people 65 and older. Additionally, the study showed a significant reduction in flu-related hospital admissions among those who were administered the high-dose vaccine.
Fishbein adds, âHigh-dose vaccines are recommended for people 65 and older because their immune systems are weaker and they are more likely to die from flu. High-dose vaccines contain more flu proteins called antigens. This means that there are more of the vaccine ingredients in order for the body to create a stronger antibody response. A higher dose is necessary for people 65 and older because they comprise the majority of flu hospitalizations.â
Recommended Reading: Does Medicare Cover The Flu Vaccine
If You’re Age 65 And Older
The choices include the regular flu shot , the high-dose flu shot , the quadrivalent flu shot and the egg-free shot called Flucelvax.
Should you get the high-dose vaccine or standard one?
Talk to your doctor about whether you need a high-dose vaccine, but studies do show that people who receive the high-dose vaccine produce more antibodies infection-fighting proteins in the blood than those who get the regular dose. That’s important because vaccines work by provoking the immune system’s defenses against the target disease, and older people tend to mount a weaker response.
In fact, the high-dose vaccine was developed to address concerns that the standard-dose shot doesn’t work very well in people 65 and older, the very group most likely to be hospitalized or die from flu complications. Last year, for example, the CDC reported that season’s regular vaccine lowered an older person’s risk of flu by only 27 percent, an unexpectedly low level of effectiveness compared with a 63 percent reduction for people ages 50 to 64.
Whether the high-dose shot’s effect on blood antibodies will translate into substantially fewer people getting sick is not yet clear. But signs are good that it offers at least some advantage. In August the vaccine’s maker, Sanofi Pasteur, issued preliminary findings from an ongoing clinical trial showing the higher dose increased flu prevention by 24 percent over the standard dose.
What about the new quadrivalent vaccine?
Flu Season Frequently Asked Questions
In an effort to help patients stay informed about influenza, we have created the FAQs below from information provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health .
Will there be flu with COVID-19 this winter?
While its not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, CDC believes its likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. Relaxed COVID-19 precautionary measures may result in an increase in flu activity during the upcoming 2021-2022 flu season In this context, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever. CDC recommends that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine.
Can I have flu and COVID-19 at the same time?
Yes. It is possible have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be. Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.
How do I know if I am at high risk for influenza?
This CDC Influenza page features information on the groups of people who are more likely to get serious flu-related complications if they get sick with flu.
Recommended Reading: Prevnar And Flu Shot Together
Who Is Eligible For Boosters And Additional Doses
Booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are available for the following individuals at least six months after their second dose:
- Older adults aged 65 years and older
- Adults with underlying medical conditions
- Adults that are long-term care setting residents
- Adults with a high risk for COVID-19 exposure due to their nature of work
Additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine are available at least 28 days after the second dose for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised due to the following:
- Cancer treatments
- Intake of immunosuppressive medications following an organ or stem cell transplant
- Active treatment with other immunosuppressive medications such as high-dose corticosteroids
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
The CDC does not recommend immunocompromised people receive both a booster and an additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at this time. There is no guidance yet on whether immunocompromised recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get an additional dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.
If you do not have any immune-compromising conditions and have not gotten a booster shot, you are still fully vaccinated, Dowdy says. If you are immunocompromised, however, you should not consider yourself fully vaccinated unless you get a third dose.
New Research Comparing The New Fluzone High
Old age is no place for sissies, the film actress Bette Davis observed late in her life while lying in a hospital bed. When this years influenza season comes around, Americans over age 65 will be gently reminded of this fact as theyre urged and prodded to get their annual flu shot. And, more than two-thirds of seniors do so these days – not the 90 percent that public health experts have called for, but a lot better than the woefully low 30 percent vaccination rate in this age group just 20 years ago.
People over 65 years of age, and particularly those well beyond 65, are hit especially hard by seasonal influenza. In fact, in this age group, a case of the flu is most likely to lead to serious or life-threatening complications, especially in those with chronic pre-existing conditions, such as cardiac and pulmonary disease. In the elderly in particular, a bout of the flu also can progress to primary influenza pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia.
You May Like: Flu Virus A And B
Remember No Vaccine Is A Guarantee
No vaccine is 100% effective in preventing the flu. “The effectiveness of the flu vaccine last year is estimated at around 45 percent,” says Dr. Seidman. “But even though a person can still get the flu after being vaccinated, there is evidence that the severity of the infection can be significantly less in patients who were vaccinated compared to those who were not.”
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
Which Flu Vaccine Should I Get
Both the high-dose and standard flu vaccines are designed to protect against four different flu viruses. Individuals between 6 months old and 64 should typically get the standard quadrivalent flu vaccine, while the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine is licensed and recommended for anyone over the age of 65. The high-dose vaccine contains four times the antigen as the standard dose to elicit a stronger immune response.
With most health insurance plans, you can get a free flu shot at your doctorâs office, several pharmacies, or an urgent care center. If you donât have insurance, Mira can help you access affordable health coverage for preventative care, urgent care, prescriptions, lab tests, and more.
Read Also: Meningitis And Flu Vaccine Together
Here’s The Difference Between Covid
Angela Underwood’s extensive local, state, and federal healthcare and environmental news coverage includes 911 first-responder compensation policy to the Ciba-Geigy water contamination case in Toms River, NJ. Her additional health-related coverage includes death and dying, skin care, and autism spectrum disorder.
Why Do We Need New Vaccines For Flu
Australia’s National Immunisation Program provides free influenza vaccine for the elderly, as well as other high-risk groups including pregnant women, those with chronic diseases and Indigenous Australians.
Older people’s immune systems don’t respond to flu vaccines as well as younger people’s.
Recent studies have also shown flu vaccines don’t appear to be as effective in the elderly at protecting against flu and its complications.
Compounding this problem is that the flu subtype that tends to affect older people is different to that which affects younger people .
Although the seasonal flu vaccine now contains four strains to cover all the relevant subtypes present, the protection against H3N2 infection appears to be poorer than against other strains.
Two strategies are attempting to improve the effectiveness of flu vaccines.
One is to increase the dose of the flu strains in the vaccine. This is the basis for Sanofi’s High Dose FluZone vaccine, which contains four times the amount of flu antigen than the standard dose.
Another way is to add a substance that improves the immune response, known as an adjuvant, in combination with the flu strains.
This is the basis for Seqirus’ Fluad vaccine, which contains the adjuvant MF59.
This vaccine has been used overseas for many years, but has only been become available in Australia this year.
Also Check: Flu Shot High Dose Vs Regular
The Centers For Disease Controls 2021
Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone six months and older. Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages. In general, if you are pregnant or have an underlying health condition, you should still get a flu shot, but you can talk to your healthcare provider first if you are concerned.
The regular quadrivalent flu vaccine and high dose flu vaccine can be made using several different methods. Below we explain the three ways that flu vaccines are made:
Below is a table of the available flu vaccines, the way they are made, and the age range appropriate for each type of vaccination.
This Flu Seasons New Arrival: Fluzone High
For the first time since the flu vaccines introduction in the 1940s, Americans aged 65 and older will have the option of receiving a high-potency flu vaccine during the current 2010-2011 season. Last Decembers FDA approval of Sanofi Pasteurs Fluzone High-Dose proves once again that sometimes successful ideas also are the simplest ones. Instead of the 15 micrograms of each of the three hemagglutinin viral surface antigens included in standard TIV preparations, Fluzone HD delivers 60 mcg – four times as much – in the same 0.5 mL dose for intramuscular injection. A different colored syringe plunger distinguishes it from regular Fluzone provided in a prefilled syringe. Everything else about the two products is the same. Immunogenicity findings from three clinical trials in persons 65 years of age and older demonstrate that Fluzone HD elicits substantially higher hemagglutinin inhibition titers than the standard dose. In the largest of these studies, the mean post-vaccination antibody titer elicited by Fluzone HD against the A/H1NI, A/H3N2 and B flu strains was 70 percent, 80 percent and 30 percent higher, respectively, than the titer elicited by the standard-dose vaccine. Additional important evidence of the enhanced immunogenicity of Fluzone HD is revealed by comparative seroconversion and seroprotection findings, as summarized in Table 2.
You May Like: Target Flu Shot Cost Without Insurance