Saturday, September 30, 2023

Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine Over 65

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Who Should Have The Vaccine

High Dose Influenza Vaccine Under Age 65: Dr. David Liew

In 2021/22 flu season, the following people are eligible to receive the flu vaccine for free:

  • All children aged 2 to 15 on 31st Aug 2021
  • Those aged 50 years or over
  • Those in long-term residential care homes
  • Carers
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • Those aged 6 months to 65 years in at-risk groups including people with the following health conditions:
  • Respiratory diseases, including asthma
  • Heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease
  • Neurological conditions including learning disability
  • Diabetes
  • A severely weakened immune system , a missing spleen, sickle cell anaemia or coeliac disease
  • Being seriously overweight

Babies under 6 months old are too young to receive a flu vaccine. This is because they have maternal antibodies passed on from their mother which prevent the vaccine from working so well. Flu vaccination is offered to all pregnant women in the UK . As well as protecting pregnant women themselves, this also helps to protect their newborn babies from flu.

Your doctor may recommend the flu vaccine in other circumstances as well.

A Flu Vaccine Is The Best Protection Against Flu

Flu vaccination has many benefits. It has been shown to reduce flu illnesses and also to reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes that can result in hospitalization or even death in older people. Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.

The best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications is with a flu vaccine. CDC recommends that almost everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year, ideally by the end of October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even into January or later.

Flu vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Flu vaccines are updated each season to keep up with changing viruses. Also, immunity wanes over a year so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against flu. Because immunity may decrease more quickly in older people, it is especially important that this group is not vaccinated too early . September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated for people 65 years and older.

Should I Get A Flu Shot

Yes! An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against influenza. Flu vaccines are very safe and help lower the risk of severe illness and death due to the flu. Thats why an annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months, including pregnant people and people with weakened immune systems.

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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.

Eligibility For 2022 Season Influenza Vaccines

Flu Shot Information

Influenza vaccines are funded under the National Immunisation Program for the following groups due to their increased risk of complications from influenza:

  • all children from 6 months to less than 5 years of age
  • all adults aged 65 years and older
  • pregnant women
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • individuals aged 6 months and older with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications .

All other individuals not included in the categories above can purchase the vaccine from their doctor.

In 2022, all funded influenza vaccines available will be quadrivalent vaccines including the adjuvanted influenza vaccine for adults aged 65 years and older.

Only one government-funded influenza vaccine is available for eligible people each year, with the exception of eligible children up to 9 years of age receiving an influenza vaccine for the first time. These children require and are funded for 2 doses, 4 weeks apart.

Age restrictions apply to all vaccine brands .

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Aged 65 Years And Over

These patients should be offered an adjuvanted quadrivalent influenza vaccine . Where this is not available a cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine and the recombinant quadrivalent influenza vaccine are considered acceptable alternatives and are preferable to standard egg-culture influenza vaccines. Doses of QIVr are available to order in limited quantities and will be reimbursed.

JCVI recommended the high dose quadrivalent influenza vaccine is offered alongside aQIV because of the additional benefit from the use of aQIV and QIV-HD in those aged 65 years and over, compared with standard dose egg-culture inactivated trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines. However, QIV-HD is not currently available in the UK market.

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.

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Flu Vaccine Effectiveness Over Time

The flu vaccine needs two weeks to become fully effective, and protection is thought to last for at least six months. But a person’s antibody levels in response to the vaccine can decrease over time, and different flu strains may be circulating.

Because of that and because each year the vaccine is tailored to the most concerning flu variants, people should get a flu vaccine annually.

How Are Flu Vaccines For Seniors Different

Seqirus – FLUCELVAX QUADRIVALENT Approved for Children As Young as Six Months Old

Flu vaccines for seniors are made one of two ways:

  • High-Dose flu vaccines are manufactured with four times more antigens than standard quadrivalent vaccines.
  • Adjuvanted flu vaccines contain an additive to fortify a standard, quadrivalent vaccine.

The CDC has not made a specific recommendation for which high-dose flu vaccine is best for seniors. A healthcare professional will be able to help you determine which is best for your needs.

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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.

Reasons To Consider Getting A Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine significantly reduces the risk of contracting the flu. Consider the 20192020 season: People who had the vaccine were 39% less likely to get the flu than those who did not.

In addition to preventing illness, the flu vaccine also reduces the risk of hospitalization and death. Heres what researchers have found about the flu vaccine:

  • Getting the vaccine reduces the risk of intensive-care unit hospitalization by 26% and the risk of death by 31%, according to a 2021 study.
  • Among adults who are hospitalized for the flu, people who are vaccinated are 59% less likely to need intensive care unit care, according to a 2018 study.
  • People with heart disease who get the vaccine are less likely to experience cardiac events.
  • People with diabetes and chronic lung disease who get the vaccine are less likely to be hospitalized for those conditions.
  • Pregnant people who get the vaccine are 40% less likely to be hospitalized for flu than pregnant people who did not get the vaccine.

In addition to protecting you, getting the flu vaccine can keep you from contracting the flu and passing it to others, including infants and the elderly, who are at higher risks for complications.

Pregnant people who get the vaccine help protect their baby from the flu , which can be valuable during the first six months of life when a child is not able to be vaccinated.

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The Best Flu Vaccine If Youre Scared Of Needles

While most people use the terms flu vaccine and flu shot interchangeably, not all flu vaccines use a needle to deliver the ingredients.

FluMist Quadrivalent is a nasal spray vaccine. However, its not the right choice for some people. This vaccine is only FDA-approved for people between ages 2 and 49. FluMist Quadrivalent is also a live attenuated vaccine, meaning it contains weakened versions of the flu viruses instead of inactivated viruses. People who are pregnant and those with certain health problems such as a weakened immune system shouldnt receive it.

What Vaccines Are Available For The 2021

Is the flu vaccine free and everything else you need to know.

There are nine vaccines that have been approved and released by the FDA for the 2021-2022 flu season. This year, all FDA-approved flu vaccines are quadrivalent meaning they protect against four different strains of influenza . Heres a rundown of the available flu vaccines for the year.

Vaccine name
Intramuscular Egg protein

Its important to note that pharmacies and healthcare providers may only carry a few brands of flu vaccine not all nine that are FDA-approved. If you are interested in or know you need a certain flu vaccine, its best to call ahead and see if your preferred vaccine is available.

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The Best Flu Vaccine For People Over 65

As we get older, our immune systems have a harder time responding to illnesses and vaccines. To help provide better protection, there are a few recommended options for older adults this year:

  • Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent also known as the high-dose flu shot

  • Fluad Quadrivalent

  • Flublok Quadrivalent

If one of these three vaccines isnt available, you should still get vaccinated with another flu vaccine thats FDA-approved for your age range. All flu vaccines are effective against the flu. Its better to be vaccinated than to try to wait for a particular flu vaccine to become available.

When Should I Get My Flu Vaccine

Flu vaccine effectiveness can have a lot to do with when you get it. Its recommended to get your flu vaccine about 2 weeks before flu season begins in your area preferably by the end of October. However, if you get the flu vaccine too early July or August, for instance you may not be protected for the entire flu season.

While September or October are the ideal times to get your flu vaccine, its still recommended to get it later than that if you were unable to do so earlier. If youre unsure when flu season begins in your area, talk to your local pharmacist or healthcare provider.

If youve recently received or will be receiving a COVID-19 vaccine including booster doses you dont have to wait a certain time to get the flu vaccine. You can even get them on the same day, if thats more convenient. These two vaccines arent known to interfere with each other.

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Who Should Not Get The Vaccine

You should not get the flu vaccine if you:

  • have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous flu vaccine or any part of the vaccine
  • are taking medicines called combination checkpoint inhibitors, for example, ipilimumab plus nivolumab
  • have severe neutropoenia, which is low levels of a type of white blood cell
  • are ill with a temperature greater than 38 degrees Celsius – wait until you are well before getting the vaccine

If you have an egg allergy, talk to your GP before getting the vaccine. Most people with an egg allergy can get the flu vaccine.

Vaccines For Use In Children

City at risk of running low on vaccine recommended to seniors

For children, three vaccines are available from 6 months and over: Fluquadri, Fluarix Tetra and Vaxigrip Tetra. Influvac Tetra is available for use in children 3 years and over, Afluria Quad for children 5 years and over, and Flucelvax Quad for children 9 years and over.

All children aged 6 months to less than 5 years are now eligible to receive free annual influenza vaccines under the National Immunisation Program .

The dose of influenza vaccines for all ages is 0.5 mL.

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How Does A High

Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent contains four times the amount of antigen as the regular dose flu vaccine. As we get older, our immune systems have a harder time fighting off infections and learning from vaccines. The higher amount of antigen in the high-dose flu vaccine helps an older adults immune system better recognize and react to the vaccine.

The influenza strains and inactive ingredients in Fluzone High-Dose are the same as Fluzone Quadrivalent one of the available regular dose flu vaccines. However, a few other regular dose flu vaccines are available which vary more from the high-dose vaccine than Fluzone Quadrivalent.

The following are other FDA-approved flu vaccines for the 2021/2022 flu season and how they differ from the high-dose flu vaccine:

Different Types Of Flu Vaccines

There are two categories of influenza vaccines: trivalent, which protects against three strains of the virus , and quadrivalent, which protects against four strains .

Within these two categories, there are numerous vaccine types to accommodate individuals of varying ages and health conditions so everyone can protect themselves against the flu.

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What To Know About Flu Shots For Older Adults

Q: Is the flu vaccine effective for older adults?

A: You may have heard people say that the flu shot doesnt work in older people. This is not entirely correct.

Now, its true that flu vaccine is usually less effective in older adults because aging immune systems tend to not respond as vigorously to the vaccine. In other words, older adults tend to create fewer antibodies in response to vaccination. So if they are later exposed to flu virus, they have a higher chance of falling ill, compared to younger adults.

But less effective doesnt mean not at all effective. For the 2017-2018 flu season, the CDC estimates that vaccination prevented about 700,000 influenza cases and 65,000 hospitalizations, for adults aged 65 and older.

For more on the effectiveness of influenza vaccination in older adults, see:

To provide more effective vaccination to aging immune systems, vaccine makers have developed stronger vaccines against the flu, which I explain in the next section.

Q: Are there flu shots specifically designed for older adults?

Yes, over the past several years, vaccine makers have developed vaccines that are designed to work better with an aging immune system. Most research studies to date show that these stimulate aging immune systems to produce more antibodies to influenza. Theres also some evidence that these vaccines reduce the risk of being hospitalized for influenza.

Flu Vaccine Efficacy Factors

Somerville Road Medical Centre

There are a number of factors that influence how effective the flu vaccine is every year. The most important is strain matchingwhether the strains that the vaccine protects against match the most widely circulating flu strains during a given season.

In addition to the construction of the vaccine, there are more personal factors that influence vaccine effectiveness.

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Where Can I Learn More

More information on the inactivated influenza vaccine, including possible reactions and who should not get the vaccine, can be found in the HealthLinkBC File: Inactivated Influenza Vaccine.

For answers to frequently asked questions about influenza vaccines, visit our FAQ about influenza vaccines page.

During Past Flu Seasons

The CDC tracks seasonal flu vaccine effectiveness each year. Over the past 17 years, the highest effectiveness was in the 2010-2011 season when it was 60% effective.

Here are the effectiveness rates over the past five seasons for which data are available:

  • 20152016: 48%

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Flu Vaccine Side Effects

Side effects of the flu vaccine are usually mild and go away without treatment in a few days. Common side effects include:

  • Soreness, redness, and swelling where the shot was given
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue

Rarely, allergic reactions occur, often within minutes of the vaccine being administered. If you experience swelling, racing heart or trouble breathing, seek medical attention immediately. Extremely rarely a person may develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease.

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