What is the flu vaccine for seniors?
People 65 years and older should get a flu shot. 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. There is a high dose senior vaccine, and an adjuvanted flu vaccine.
Who Can Receive
the Senior Dose Flu Vaccine?
People 65 years and older may not respond as well as younger people to the standard dose flu vaccine because of age-related changes in their immune systems.
Therefore, they may need a different dose known as a Senior Flu Vaccine
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. According to the CDC, in the United States, between about 70% and 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50% and 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people 65 years and older.
The weakened immune system can also mean that older people don’t 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.
How safe is the Flu Vaccine for Seniors?
- Most people have minimal or no side effects after receiving the senior dose. The high dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines may result in more temporary, mild side effects, according to the CDC.
- More information about senior dose is available on the CDC website.