Where To Get A Flu Shot: Find A Local Clinic
Flu shots are available in many convenient locations, like major drugstores, health clinics, and doctors offices.
That makes getting a flu shot quick and easy most of these locations dont even require an appointment, you can walk in anytime.
This year, the nationwide online vaccine finder has been dedicated to locating Covid-19 vaccines.
To find a flu shot near you, contact your doctors office or use online flu vaccine finders from major drugstore pharmacies including:
How Much Better Are These Vaccines
Compared to the standard flu vaccine, the high-dose version has been shown to better stimulate the immune system of older users to make protective antibodies.
It has been shown to better reduce rates of flu infection in over-65s than the standard vaccine.
And, interestingly, it also seems to protect against pneumonia.
One common criticism of clinical trials is that they don’t include the types of people who are found in the “real world”.
But population-based observational studies suggest the high-dose vaccine is more protective than the standard-dose vaccine where H3N2 is the predominant circulating strain as it was last year.
What about the Fluad vaccine?
Compared to the standard vaccine, adjuvanted flu vaccine has been shown to better stimulate the immune system of older users to make protective antibodies.
Unlike the high-dose vaccine, there have not been clinical trials that show a difference in infection rates compared with the standard vaccine.
But observational data suggests the adjuvanted vaccine is more protective against hospitalisation with influenza or pneumonia to a similar degree as the high-dose vaccine.
One problem with both these vaccines is that they only contain three strains, rather than the four strains in the current vaccine.
The strain missing from the new vaccines is an influenza B type.
Types Of Flu Vaccines
Flu vaccines are updated to keep up with the changing viruses every season. Also, immunity can decrease over time. For these reasons, it’s important to get an annual flu vaccine to ensure you get the best possible protection against the flu.
While the traditional flu vaccine is helpful, research has shown that it may not be as effective in seniors as previously believed. Luckily, there are a few different options to choose from that work well for this age group.
People 65 years and older will benefit from getting a flu shot, but they should never get a nasal spray vaccine. There are two vaccines designed specifically for this group:
High Dose Flu Vaccine. One new vaccine is called Fluzone High-Dose. The new vaccine has four times as much antigen as regular flu vaccines. Antigen is the material that controls how your body recognizes and defends itself against viruses. In tests, it proved to be about 24% more effective than other vaccines for seniors.
Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine. Also known as Fluad, this flu vaccine is made with an additive that creates a stronger immune response. In medical trials, seniors who took Fluad had significantly better immune responses than those who received the traditional flu shot.
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Flu & People 65 Years And Older
People 65 years and older are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications compared with young, healthy adults. This increased risk is due in part to changes in immune defenses with increasing age. While flu seasons vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease. In recent years, for example, its estimated that between 70 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older, and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in this age group.
Older Adults Still Need Their Shots For The Flu Shingles And More
As we age, the immune system slows down, chronic conditions become more common, and the body may be less able to fight off infection and more vulnerable to its complications.
Thats where vaccines come in. These immunity boosters help prevent serious diseases at any age.
Vaccines are not only for kids or teens, says David Kim, M.D., director of the division of vaccines and immunization at the Department of Health and Human Services. If youre older, youre at a higher risk for certain vaccine-preventable diseases.
Here are the shots you may need, when to get them, and why theyre critical for keeping you and your loved ones healthy.
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And The Survey Says: More Doctors Prefer The High
The new healthcare provider survey was conducted by Ipsos, the worlds third-largest insights and analytical company, and sponsored by Sanofi, the manufacturer of the vaccine. The 700 respondents were a mix of licensed primary care physicians, pharmacists, cardiologists, and pulmonologists.
These healthcare providers were presented with three different vaccine options in a blinded format: Fluzone , Fluzone Quadrivalent , and Fluad Quadrivalent , and asked a series of questions about their preferences.
Nearly 74 percent of survey respondents said they would recommend a vaccine with the clinical profile of Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent for patients 65 years of age and older over another flu vaccine designed for this population, or over a standard-dose influenza vaccine.
How Effective Is The Flu Shot For Seniors
The flu vaccine is not 100% effective, but its still one of the best ways to prevent the flu, according to the CDC. The regular flu vaccine seems to be less effective in seniors than it is in younger adults. However, PubMed studies have found the high-dose senior flu shot better protects older adults against the flu when compared with the standard flu vaccine.
Getting vaccinated also seems to reduce the severity of illness for people who get sick with the flu, according to the CDC. In fact, researchers have found that flu vaccinations in recent years have reduced the need for flu-related hospitalizations among older adults by 40%.
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Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
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.
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What Are Flu Vaccines For Seniors
Often referred to as High-Dose , based on the brand name of one popular flu vaccine, flu vaccines for seniors are super-charged to help keep people 65+ healthy throughout the flu season. The two approved vaccines for people 65+ either contain four times the antigens of a regular flu shot or an additive known as an adjuvant.
Both offer greater, but about the same as one another, protection from illness than standard egg-based quadrivalent vaccines, studies have shown.
Current Flu Vaccine Recommendations For People 65 And Up
There are regular flu shots that are approved for people 65 and older and two that are specially designed for this group. One is the high-dose flu vaccine.
This vaccine, which is also known as Fluzone High-Dose, contains four times the amount of antigenthe inactivated virus that creates an immune responsethan a regular flu shot. Its linked to higher antibody production after the vaccine. Research has actually shown that older adults who receive this flu shot have 24% fewer cases of the flu than those who get the regular flu shot.
The other flu vaccine thats specially designed for the 65-and-up group is the adjuvanted flu vaccine, also known as Fluad Quadrivalent. Its formulated with an adjuvant, which is a special ingredient that creates a stronger immune response. The adjuvanted flu vaccine also creates a higher immune response than in people who get a standard flu shot.
When given a choice, most seniors opt for the high-dose, perhaps, because it has been on the market longer and more people are aware of it, Amesh A. Adalja, MD, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Verywell.
The adjuvanted vaccine first became available in the U.S. during the 2016-2017 flu season.
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The Seasonal Flu Vaccine Is Needed Every Year
Receiving an annual flu vaccination provides the best protection against flu throughout the flu season. Adults 65 years and older may want to consider getting one of the flu vaccines designed specifically for their age groupbut getting any flu shot is better than not getting vaccinated at all. If you have questions about which flu vaccine is best for you, talk to your health care provider.
Who Needs To Get A High
Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is only FDA-approved for people over 65, so if youre younger than that, you should stick to the regular dose vaccine. Speak with your healthcare provider to decide which available flu vaccine is the best option for you.
If youre over 65 and questioning your flu vaccines options, contact your healthcare provider. Theyll let you know which of the three CDC-recommended flu vaccines for people over 65 is the best for you.
If your pharmacy or healthcare providers office doesnt have high-dose flu vaccines in stock, its recommended to get vaccinated with a regular dose vaccine instead of waiting for Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent to be restocked. A regular dose vaccine will still offer you protection against the flu.
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The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things To Know
The latest Covid data in the U.S.As the Omicron surge causes case counts to reach record highs and hospitalizations to surpass the height of the Delta wave, heres how to think about the data and what its beginning to show about Omicrons potential toll across the county.
Around the world.In Europe, Germany is bracing for major protests against restrictions after thousands took to the streets in France and Austria, and a tough new vaccine requirement came into force in Italy. In Uganda, schools reopened after the longest pandemic-prompted shutdown in the world.
Staying safe.Worried about spreading Covid? Keep yourself and others safe by following some basic guidance on when to test and how to use at-home virus tests . Here is what to do if you test positive for the coronavirus.
Given such prospects, what makes vaccinating more older adults such a challenge? Improvement appears possible. The C.D.C. has reported that last year when public health strategies emphasized flattening the hospitalization curve, protecting essential workers and preserving resources for Covid patients the proportion of older people who were vaccinated against flu rose 9.5 percent in selected jurisdictions.
Further, a new C.D.C. study has found that three-quarters of unvaccinated Medicare beneficiaries actually visit a health care provider during flu season, with even more such missed opportunities among Black and Hispanic beneficiaries.
What Is The Senior Flu Shot
The senior flu shot is a vaccine developed specifically for adults age 65 and older to protect them against the flu virus. According to the CDC, seniors need stronger protection because immune systems tend to weaken with age, putting older adults at an increased risk of serious flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, other respiratory problems, hospitalizations, and even death. The flu can also worsen chronic conditions that are common in seniors like diabetes, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The senior flu shot creates a stronger immune response that helps older adults immune systems fight the flu virus more effectively than the regular flu shot. The vaccine works by stimulating the production of antibodies that protect seniors against the virus.
While older adults may get any flu vaccine approved for their age group, two flu vaccines were developed specifically for seniors: the high-dose flu vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine.
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What You Need To Know About Fluad And Fluzone High Dose The New Flu Vaccines For Over
In an attempt to avoid a repeat of last year’s horror flu season, Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the Government would fund two new flu vaccines in 2018 to try to better protect the elderly.
While influenza affects people of all ages, infections among the elderly are more likely to require hospitalisation or cause serious complications such as pneumonia and heart attacks.
Of the 1,100 Australians who died last year from flu-related causes, 90 per cent were aged 65 and over.
The two free vaccines for over-65s work in different ways: FluZone High Dose is a high-dose version Fluad adds an additional ingredient to boost its effectiveness.
Both are recommended for use only in people aged 65 and over. But neither is perfect. And it’s important to remember flu vaccines are, at best, only partially protective.
What To Do If Your Older Parent Or Relative Is Unwilling Or Unable To Get Vaccinated
Now, what if your older parent wont, or cant, get a flu shot?
Some older adults just dont want to get it. Here are some things you can try:
- Ask them to clarify what their concerns are. Its important to start by listening, in order to understand what an older person believes about the flu and the flu shot.
- Provide information to dispel myths and misunderstandings. Sometimes all people need is a little of the right kind of information.
- Point out that it can benefit an older persons family members and neighbors. Getting a flu shot can reduce the risk that we pass the flu on to another person. People are sometimes more willing to take action to protect others than to protect their own health.
- Make sure they know they wont have to pay for the flu shot. If you get the shot from a provider who takes Medicare, it shouldnt cost anything.
- Offer to go together to get your flu shots. Sometimes it helps to make it a family outing.
There are also some older adults for whom its hard to get a flu shot, such as people who are homebound or have very limited transportation options.
If this is your situation, the main thing to do is encourage flu shots for family and others coming to the house. For older adults who dont get out much, their main source of exposure to influenza and other dangerous viruses will be from those who come to them.
Above all, dont panic if your older loved one cant or wont get a flu shot.
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Why Is There A Need For Flu Vaccines Designed Specifically For People 65 Years And Older
People 65 years and older are at increased risk of developing serious complications from flu compared with young, healthy adults. This is partly because human immune defenses become weaker with increasing age. During most seasons, people 65 years and older account for the majority of flu hospitalizations and deaths. In the United States, between about 70 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people 65 years and older. The weakened immune system can also mean that older people dont respond as well to flu vaccination. Given the higher risk of severe flu illness and lower protective immune response after vaccination among older adults, substantial research and development have led to the production of new flu vaccines intended to provide better immunity in this age group.
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Cdc Advisory Committee Recommends Use Of High
In a June 22 meeting, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend the use of high-dose vaccines or adjuvated flu vaccine over standard-dose vaccines for seniors. An adjuvant is an ingredient added to a vaccine that helps create a stronger immune response.
Previously, the CDC had said that seniors could get the high dose, but that any dose would do, says Auwaerter.
The CDC director must approve the ACIPs recommendation in order for it to become policy, which is likely to happen, Auwaerter says.
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