Sunday, October 1, 2023

Super Flu Shot For Seniors

Must read

Types Of Flu Shots For People 65 And Older

Seniors getting hit hard by flu outbreak

People 65 years and older should get a flu shot, not a nasal spray vaccine. They can get any flu vaccine approved for use in their age group with no preference for any one vaccine over another. There are regular flu shots that are approved for use in people 65 years and older and there also are two vaccines designed specifically for this age group:

High Dose and Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine Side Effects

The high dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines may result in more of the temporary, mild side effects that can occur with standard-dose seasonal flu shots. Side effects can include pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, headache, muscle ache and malaise, and typically resolve with 1 to 3 days.

Recombinant Vaccine

Flu Shot Side Effects

According to the CDC, mild side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever and aches. Only about 1% to 2% of people who get a flu shot will have fever as a side effect, Schaffner said. These mild effects should go away within a few days.

Rare but serious side effects can occur, including allergic reactions. Symptoms of serious side effects include difficulty breathing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, racing heart, dizziness and high fever. If you experience serious side effects, you should seek medical care immediately, the CDC says. In addition, it’s important to ask your health-care provider to file what a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System report either online or by calling VAERS at 1-800-822-7967, the CDC says.

For children, side effects from the flu nasal spray can include runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches and fever. For adults, side effects from the spray version of the vaccine include runny nose, headache, sore throat and cough. These side effects last a short time compared with the actual flu illness, the CDC says.

What Is The Flu

While most people recover in 7 to 10 days, severe illness can occur. Some groups, including seniors, are at a greater risk of influenza-related complications.

It is estimated that influenza causes approximately 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each year, the majority of which are over age 65.

FluWatch, Canadas national influenza surveillance system, provides up-to-date information about currently circulating influenza strains. Check in regularly for updates. H3N2 strain reported this flu season!

Getting vaccinated against influenza each autumn is the best way to help prevent influenza infection.

You May Like: Kaiser Campbell Flu Shots Schedule

How Can Influenza Be Prevented

You can reduce the risk of getting influenza or spreading it to others by:

  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that people touch
  • Promptly disposing of used tissues in the waste basket or garbage
  • Coughing and sneezing into your shirt sleeve rather than your hands
  • Staying home when you are ill
  • Getting an influenza vaccine

Getting an influenza vaccine can help prevent you from getting sick with influenza and from spreading it to others.

Are There Benefits Of Fluzone High

YSK: A flu shot isn

Data from clinical trials comparing Fluzone to Fluzone High-Dose among people 65 years and older indicated that a stronger immune response occured after vaccination with Fluzone High-Dose. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicineexternal icon indicated that the high-dose vaccine was 24% more effective in preventing flu in adults 65 years and older relative to a standard-dose vaccine. Another study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicineexternal icon reported that people 65 years and older who got Fluzone High-dose had a lower risk of hospital admission compared with people in that age group who got the standard-dose Fluzone, especially those living in long-term care facilities. This study was conducted during the 2013-14 flu season among more than 38,000 resident of 823 nursing homes in 38 states.

For the 2021-22 season, all Fluzone High-Dose vaccine will be quadrivalent. Data comparing the effectiveness of Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent with standard-dose inactivated quadrivalent vaccines are not yet available.

Also Check: Will Medicare Cover Flu Shots

Severe Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine

While these are much rarer than mild side effects and are unlikely to occur, they do happen and should be recognized. These side effects are a cause for concern, and you should talk to your doctor or visit the hospital as soon as possible if you or your loved one develops them.

  • Hives
  • Paleness
  • High fever

The above list of side effects can be associated with a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine and should be acknowledged immediately. They usually occur within a few hours of receiving the vaccine. Call your doctor or 9-1-1 as soon as any of those side effects present themselves.

Flu Shot Options For Seniors

Millions of people get sick with each year.

Flu is typically a mild illness for many people, but for older adults, especially those who have chronic health conditions, the flu can be very serious.

Older adults are particularly at risk for infection, hospitalization and even death due to flu-related complications, such as pneumonia. This is why flu vaccine is especially important for people 65 years and older. It’s the best way to protect against the flu.

Don’t Miss: Who Should Not Get The Senior Flu Shot

People At High Risk Of Complications From The Flu

  • people with health conditions, such as:
  • cancer and other immune compromising conditions
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
  • children up to 18 years of age undergoing treatment for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid
  • people 65 years and older
  • people who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • children under 5 years of age
  • people who experience barriers in accessing health care
  • people who are at an increased risk of disease because of living conditions, such as overcrowding
  • When Should You Get A Flu Shot


    Exactly when the flu season starts and ends is unpredictable, so health officials recommend that people get their flu shot in early fall, preferably by the end of October, the CDC says. The same recommendation applies this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Flu activity typically peaks in January or February.

    “We’d like to get as many people protected against influenza before influenza becomes active in communities across the country,” Schaffner said.

    Most flu vaccines are given before Thanksgiving, Schaffner said, but people can still get their shot throughout the winter months. Each season’s flu shot expires in June of that year, but Schaffner said that he would consider it “too late” to get a flu vaccine after March, unless a person is traveling to the Southern Hemisphere .

    After vaccination, it takes a person about two weeks to build up immunity against the flu.

    People can visit the CDC’s to find flu shot locations.

    Don’t Miss: Chances Of Getting The Flu

    How Are Flu Vaccines For Seniors Different

    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.

    Senior Flu Shot Types

    The following flu vaccines are recommended for adults 65 and older only. Talk to your doctor about which senior flu shot is right for your loved one.

    • Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is a vaccine made up of four different flu strains likely to cause the flu in the upcoming season. The higher dose of flu virus antigen in the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine stimulates a stronger immune response, making it more effective in preventing the flu in seniors than other regular flu vaccines. One study comparing it to the standard flu vaccine also showed the higher-dose vaccine can reduce the need for respiratory-related hospitalizations.
    • Adjuvanted flu vaccine contains an additive called an adjuvant. The adjuvant in this vaccine is made with aluminum salts and stimulates a stronger immune response when compared to other standard flu vaccines. This vaccine is usually made up of three different strains of the flu, like other standard flu vaccines, but a quadrivalent adjuvanted vaccine is also available now.

    Read Also: What Cold And Flu Medicine Is Safe For Breastfeeding

    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.

    What Are The Side Effects Of The High

    The Dual Threat of Flu and COVID

    The high dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines may result in more of the temporary, mild side effects that can occur with standard-dose seasonal shots. Mild side effects can include pain, redness or swelling in the area where the shot was given. Some people may develop body aches or a low-grade fever. These symptoms are usually mild and quickly go away on their own.

    You May Like: Has Flu Season Started In Texas

    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.

    Seniors Should Get Specially

    If you or a loved one is 65 years of age or older, the flu could be more dangerous than you realize. As we age, our immune systems get weaker. With a weakened defense system, the risks of catching viruses and developing complications increases. Seniors, children and those with chronic health conditions make up the highest rate of flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. In recent years, flu vaccinations have been developed that are specially formulated, heavier doses for seniors to help lower the health risks associated with the flu.

    The difference in vaccinations for seniors

    The vaccine designated for seniors and provided at Urgent Team Family & Urgent Care Centers, is called Fluzone High-Dose. Both the standard and senior flu vaccines are produced by the same manufacturer, but the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen versus standard flu shots. The additional antigens are intended to create a stronger immune response in seniors who get the vaccine. Studies found there were 25 percent fewer cases of influenza in seniors who took the high-dose vaccination compared to those who took the standard-dose.

    Potential side effects

    For more information about Fluzone High-Dose

    Read Also: Is Advil Multi Symptom Cold And Flu Non Drowsy

    Adjuvanted Inactivated 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.

    Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention

    City of Albuquerque, Albertsons offering flu shots for seniors

    Some side effects of influenza virus vaccine, inactivated may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

    Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

    More common

    • pain at the injection site

    Less common

    Applies to influenza virus vaccine, inactivated: intradermal suspension, intramuscular solution, intramuscular suspension, nasal spray

    Don’t Miss: My Skin Hurts To Touch Flu

    Where Can Seniors Get A Flu Shot

    Several locations offer senior flu shots, including doctors offices, local health departments, and pharmacies.

    You may be worried about taking your senior relative to get a flu shot this year if COVID-19 is still spreading in your community. However, the CDC says its especially important for seniors and others who are at increased risk for flu complications to get vaccinated.

    There are certain steps your loved one can take to stay safe when going to get the flu shot:

    • Wear a mask to the vaccine appointment.
    • If your loved one has a fever, hold off on vaccinating them until theyre feeling better.
    • Wash hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

    View CDC guidelines for more information on protecting yourself and senior relatives from the seasonal flu as well as COVID-19.

    High Dose Flu Vaccine

    The high dose flu vaccine has four times as many antigens as a regular flu shot, and is available specifically for people over 65.

    Medical term: Antigens are pathogenic molecules that trigger the immune system to release antibodies designed to fight infection. Vaccines contain antigens in order to alert the immune system to specific pathogens, like the flu virus, so that it’s more equipped to fight those pathogens if they later invade your body.

    The higher antigen load means that even if your immune system has a weaker reaction, having more virus particles present helps your body create more antibodies ideally enough to protect you from infection, Haynes says.

    A study published in 2014 found that the high dose flu vaccine was 24% more effective in preventing flu in people over 65, compared with the standard vaccine. Moreover, seniors who get the high dose vaccine are also less likely to be hospitalized for the flu.

    Also Check: Can Having The Flu Raise Your Blood Pressure

    What Kinds Of Flu Shots Are There

    Flu shots known as “quadrivalent vaccines” protect against four strains of flu virus. These include two influenza A strains H1N1 and H3N2 and two influenza B strains. Previously, some flu shots protected against three strains, and were known as trivalent flu vaccines, but starting in the 2021-2022 season, all flu shots are quadrivalent, according to the CDC.

    In addition to the standard-dose flu vaccine given through a needle, flu shots are available in several different forms. These include a high-dose version for those ages 65 and older a “cell-based” version that’s grown in animal cells rather than hen’s eggs and is approved for people ages 4 and older a “recombinant” vaccine that does not use the full influenza virus or chicken eggs in the production process and is approved for people ages 18 and older and a nasal spray, which is approved for healthy people ages 2 to 49, but not for pregnant women.

    There is also a needle-free flu shot, delivered by a so-called jet injector, which uses a high-pressure stream of fluid to inject the vaccine, the CDC says. It is approved for adults ages 18 to 64.

    How Do Flu Vaccines For Seniors Work

    Flu season in Canada âexceptionally lowâ so far, public ...

    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.

    You May Like: How Bad Is The Flu

    More articles

    Popular Articles