Friday, September 29, 2023

High Dose Flu Vaccine Vs Regular

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Who Can Receive Fluzone High

High-dose flu shot hard to find

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.

What If The High

Manufacturers have increased flu shot production to meet the high demand for the 2020-2021 season. According to the CDC, between 188 million and 200 million doses will be distributed. All vaccines will be quadrivalent , most will be thimerosal-free or thimerosal-reduced vaccines and about 18% of flu vaccines will be free of eggs.

Route Of Vaccine Delivery

Another approach being explored to increase the immunogenicity of influenza vaccines is to differentially stimulate the immune system through alternative delivery routes. Such an approach in terms of influenza vaccine delivery is intradermal inoculation, with the rationale of engaging the abundant pool of professional antigen-presenting cells in the skin. APCs are efficient at capturing and processing antigens for subsequent presentation in the lymphoid organs, resulting in stimulation of both innate and adaptive immunity . In some cases, i.d. vaccines performed better than the conventional intramuscular or subcutaneous vaccines in stimulating a robust immune response . This approach is especially relevant for the elderly, since in two head-to-head studies, i.d. vaccines were superior to i.m. vaccines in terms of immunogenicity in the elderly . Initial reports on the i.d. delivery of the influenza vaccine in healthy adults showed that it was as efficacious as i.m. vaccines in stimulating an antibody response, even with only half the standard dose of HA . A systematic review of clinical studies with i.d. vaccines showed that most studies reported comparable immunogenicity between reduced doses of i.d. vaccines and standard i.m. vaccines , suggesting that i.d. vaccination could provide a dose-sparing strategy.

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Why The Flu Vaccine Matters For Older People

The CDC currently recommends that everyone who is 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccine, but the agency particularly stresses the importance of people aged 65 and up getting vaccinated.

People in this age group are at higher risk of developing serious complications of the flu, including pneumonia and multi-organ failure, compared to those who are younger and healthy, due to changes in the immune system with age.

An estimated 70- to 80% of flu-related deaths have happened in people who are 65 and up, and 50- to 70% of hospitalizations due to the flu happen in this age group.

Can The Flu Vaccine Make You Sick


While the flu vaccine can give some people mild side effects, it cannot give you the flu. Any side effects are caused by your bodyâs immune response to the vaccination.

The vaccines are made with inactivated viruses and can not get you sick. The most common side effect after vaccination is soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given. Although uncommon, it is possible to have a low-grade fever, headache, and muscleaches 1-2 days after getting vaccinated.

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What Is A Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine

Quadrivalent vaccines add an additional B strain to the three recommended strains in the trivalent flu vaccine each year, and protect against A and B strains of influenza .

In general, quadrivalent vaccines are now replacing trivalent vaccines in the U.S. market. In the 2020-2021 flu season, only one standard dose trivalent vaccine was available as noted by the CDC .

Even though quadrivalent or high dose vaccines may give you added protection during the flu season, experts say don’t delay getting your influenza vaccine if a particular formulation or brand is not available.

Do not use Flublok Quadrivalent is you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine.

Other Ways To Protect Yourself

Keep in mind that the flu vaccine isn’t necessarily 100% effective. It is possible to come down with the flu, even after you’ve been vaccinated. Yet it’s still worth getting the shot. “Even if you get the flu despite having received a flu shot,” says Dr. Choi, “the vaccine can lessen the severity of symptoms and help you avoid serious complications from the flu.”

Should you ask your doctor to prescribe anti-influenza drugsoseltamivir and zanamivir in advance, in case you do catch the flu? Not necessarily, according to Dr. Choi. The flu shares many symptoms in common with other upper respiratory infections, and you might mistakenly treat a bacterial illness with an antiviral drug.

Plus, a research review published in April 2014 in The Cochrane Collaboration raises concerns about these drugs’ effectiveness at preventing flu complications, and highlights potential side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

“The safest course of action, particularly during the height of flu season, is to call the physician as soon as your symptoms appear,” says Dr. Choi.

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Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine

Children 2-17 years of age who are eligible for an influenza vaccine can receive FluMist® Quadrivalent by nasal spray.

The nasal spray vaccine will be available at health units, some pharmacies and some doctors’ offices. Pharmacists will be able to give the nasal spray flu vaccine to children 2 years of age and older. The Influenza Clinic locator will list if a nasal spray vaccine is available at that clinic. Call ahead to confirm. The nasal spray vaccine is not approved for use in those younger than 2 years of age and they should receive their influenza vaccine by needle.

Adjuvanted Inactivated Flu Vaccine

Local pharmacists report limited supply of high-dose flu vaccine

Another vaccine specifically designed for seniors is the adjuvanted, inactivated flu vaccine. An adjuvant is a substance that increases your body’s reaction to virus proteins.

Medical term: Inactivated flu shots contain dead flu viruses. The antigens in the vaccine still provoke an immune response so you build up antibodies against the flu virus. Inactivated flu vaccines are typically recommended for people who are pregnant, are over the age of 65, or who have certain medical conditions.

The substance added to the adjuvanted flu vaccine is squalene oil, also called MF59, which is found naturally in plants and animals. “This gives an extra boost to the immune response to the vaccine which will then lead to greater protection from infection,” Haynes says.

Because the adjuvanted vaccine spikes your immune response, it may also have more side effects than the standard vaccine, including irritation at the injection site, muscle aches, and headache. However, the vaccine offers great protection for seniors a 2020 study found that people over 65 who got the adjuvanted vaccine were less likely to be hospitalized for the flu, compared with those who got the standard vaccine.

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What Is In This Years High

Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent the high-dose flu vaccine is an inactivated influenza vaccine. This means it contains a certain amount of dead flu viruses . Because the viruses in the shot are dead, you cannot get sick with influenza from the vaccine.

The high-dose flu vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine, meaning it contains four different strains of the influenza virus. The vaccines exact composition changes every year in an effort to match the strains expected to circulate during flu season .

This years high-dose flu vaccine includes the following strains:

  • Two type A influenza viruses H1N1 and H3N2

  • Two type B influenza viruses Victoria and Yamagata lineages

Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is an egg-based vaccine, meaning chicken eggs were used to create the vaccine. If you have an egg allergy, its best to discuss this with your healthcare provider before getting your flu vaccine.

Most people with egg allergies are still able to receive egg-based flu vaccines. But if you are advised to avoid egg-based vaccines, there are flu vaccine options available that are made without eggs .

The vaccine also includes the following inactive ingredients to help create and stabilize the shot:

  • Formaldehyde an ingredient that kills the virus during vaccine production

  • Sodium chloride the liquid that the virus is placed in to allow it to be injected

The syringe the vaccine comes in is not made with rubber latex, so its safe for people with latex allergies to receive it.

If You’re Ages 50 To 64

The choices include the regular flu shot, the new quadrivalent flu shot, the tiny-needle shot and the egg-free Flucelvax.

Should I get the quadrivalent vaccine?

For somewhat younger adults, the quadrivalent shot may be ideal in terms of protection against flu. But here as well, studies have yet to prove superior performance over regular vaccine. And because it’s brand new this year, supplies are limited. Zimmerman says that if all the alternatives were offered at the same price, for people 50 to 64 he’d choose the quadrivalent vaccine. “However, I would not travel an extra 20 minutes for it,” he adds.

Is the tiny-needle shot a good option?

Those wary of needles can also opt for the tiny-needle or “intradermal” shot, which deposits the medicine under the skin rather than in the muscle, as a standard shot does. It’s been approved for people ages 18 to 64 and protects against three viral strains, same as the standard flu shot. It also can be harder to find than the standard flu shot.

What about the egg-free vaccine?

Anyone 18 or older who is hypersensitive to eggs a problem that’s actually far more common in young children can choose a vaccine whose virus is grown in mammalian cells rather than chicken eggs.

Katharine Greider is a freelance writer.

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Why A High Dose Flu Vaccine Might Be Better

The high-dose flu vaccine usually generates a stronger immune response, Richard Watkins, MD, an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University, told Verywell. As a result, he said, the idea of recommending this vaccine over the adjuvanted vaccine for seniors seems like a reasonable course of action.

Seniors are at high risk for severe influenza and respond poorly to standard vaccines, Adalja said. High dose vaccines improve the immunogenicity of the vaccine.

But Schaffner stressed that no decision has been made just yet. We will have to wait and see, he added.

Iii2 Efficacy And Effectiveness

What You Need to Know About the Flu Shot for Seniors

Four studies comparing the relative efficacy of high dose vaccines were identified and described below.

The relative efficacy of Fluzone®High Dose compared with Fluzone® has been evaluated in two studies to date. The first study of 9158 ambulatory, medically-stable adults 65 years and older was conducted in 2009-2010 during the H1N1 pandemicFootnote 21. The relative efficacy was 12.5% in favour of Fluzone®High Dose against laboratory-confirmed influenza, but with exceedingly wide confidence bounds in this study 21 of the 22 symptomatic cases of influenza were caused by the Apdm09 strain, which was not in the seasonal vaccine.

The second study was conducted in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 Footnote 22. In this study of almost 32,000 older adults, 18-24% fewer illnesses caused by influenza occurred in people who received Fluzone®High Dose compared with those who received Fluzone®. The relative efficacy against laboratory-confirmed influenza of the high dose vaccine compared to the standard dose vaccine was 18% in participants who provided swabs when they had an acute respiratory illness, with 2.0% and 2.4%, respectively, diagnosed with influenza. The relative efficacy against laboratory-confirmed influenza was 24% , with 1.4% and 1.9%, respectively, diagnosed with influenza, in those who provided swabs when they had an influenza-like illness ).

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What Is The Difference Between High

The high-dose flu vaccine has four times the amount of flu virus antigen and was created for people ages 65 and older. The purpose of an âenhancedâ vaccine is to help elicit a strong immune response even among people who have weaker immune systems. The standard-dose vaccines are effective for everyone under 65 years old.

This year, both the high-dose and standard-dose vaccines are quadrivalent, meaning they offer broader protection against four different flu viruses. Two of the viruses are influenza A viruses and two are influenza B viruses.

Below we outline the main differences between the standard and high dose influenza vaccines.

Standard Quadrivalent Flu Shot vs Fluzone High-Dose

  • Headache

What Other Flu Vaccines Are Available For People 65 Years And Older

In addition to Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, one other influenza vaccine is licensed specifically for people 65 years and older. The adjuvanted flu vaccine,FLUAD Quadrivalent, external icon contains an adjuvant, an ingredient intended to help improve immune response.

One recombinant influenza vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent , is available during the 20202021 influenza season. Flublok Quadrivalent was first licensed by the FDA in the United States for use in adults 18 years and older in 2017. An earlier trivalent version was licensed in 2013 but was later replaced by the quadrivalent version. A new CDC study showed that flu shots made using recombinant technology produced a better antibody response among health care personnel compared with both cell-based and traditional flu shots.

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How Do Flu Vaccines For Seniors Work

As we age, our immune systems do not function as well as they once did. Flu immunizations for seniors are designed to help our bodies better fight infection with more antibodies. These antibodies will support the immune system in fighting off infection.

The CDC reports that 80 to 90 percent of all flu-related deaths are among those over 65. Flu vaccinations for seniors are designed and recommended to help keep those 65+ safe all year long.

Different Target Different Approach

Health Watch | High dose flu vaccine

While many of the newer approaches for delivering influenza virus antigens can accommodate any viral protein or peptide, most proof-of-concept studies have been conducted with HA. While HA-based immunity is potent and well described, and improving its delivery an important task, a true overhaul of influenza vaccination requires a search for more conserved antigens. The discovery of a protective universal influenza vaccine would essentially remove many of the major issues associated with influenza vaccination. As the vaccine would not need to be updated, the vaccine could be produced year round with a timetable set by manufacturers and not the virus itself. While the search for a universal influenza vaccine is far from over, some more conserved viral epitopes have been evaluated as vaccine targets.

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Variation On The Conventional

With the well-accepted limitations and deficiencies in the current influenza vaccine system, substantial resources have been spent trying to improve it. The improvements that are most advanced, many of which are already in use, are those that contribute incremental, but important, advances to the current TIV and LAIV platforms.

Time For Your Flu Vaccine: Do You Need A Higher Dose

Images: Thinkstock

To avoid a miserable case of the flu and the complications it can cause, get a flu shot before the start of the season, ideally in early fall.

The pros and cons of the high-dose vaccine, and tips to protect yourself from infection this season.

The flu is far more than a fever and sniffles that sideline you for a few days. In older adults, it can lead to serious complications like bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can worsen existing medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. In fact, most flu-related hospitalizations and nearly all deaths from the disease occur in people 65 and older.

“The strength of the immune response tends to decrease with age. So as people get older, they are more likely to become significantly ill from diseases like the flu,” explains Dr. Elisa Choi, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist at Harvard Vanguard Medical Center. The best way to protect yourself against the flu is by getting vaccinated, but because of the natural decline in your immune system, you may produce fewer flu-fighting antibodies in response to the vaccine than you once did, and be less protected as a result.

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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.

Increased Interest In Vaccinations

What Many People Get Wrong About Getting the Flu in Your 60s

Chager identified, through her own professional experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increased interest in vaccines more broadly.

I’ve actually seen it with other vaccinations as well, not just influenza, she said. I’d say that maybe there is just a little bit more acceptance of the value of vaccinations.

Pharmasave conducted a survey 7,000 consumers across Ontario and Atlantic Canada, which found that 86 per cent of respondents said they plan to get a flu shot this year, up from 78 per cent last year.

I’m sure that the fall season and patients being really uneasy about getting sick during these months has a lot to do with the sentiment to get the influenza vaccination, Chager said.

In Ontario, its recommended that anyone six months and older receive the influenza vaccination but pharmacies are only able to inject in people over the age of five.

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