High-dose flu vaccine offers seniors superior protection against the flu

It’s flu season again, and experts warn this year’s flu season is particularly dangerous for seniors and adults suffering from chronic health conditions. Seniors are at a greater risk of serious complications from the flu compared with young adults because human immune defenses weaken with age.

So, what can seniors do to protect themselves against the influenza virus? Research shows the high-dose vaccine which contains more antigen than standard flu vaccines may give older adults a better immune response and superior protection against the flu.

In October 2016, the FLUZONE® High-Dose Influenza Vaccine became available for the first time in Canada for purchase at pharmacies and vaccination clinics across the country.

According to Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI): “In older adults 65 years of age and older, given the burden of influenza A(H3N2) disease and evidence of better efficacy in this population, high dose trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine should provide superior protection compared with the standard dose intramuscular vaccine.” (i.e., FLUZONE®)

As the immune system declines with age, older adults do not respond to standard dose flu vaccines as well as younger adults. The flu can worsen pre-existing chronic conditions such as diabetes or renal disease, and significantly reduce ability to perform normal activities such as walking, dressing and eating independently.

For many people, recovering from influenza infections may take seven to ten days. However, it may take longer for adults 65 years of age and older to recover as they are at risk of developing more severe complications or worsening underlying medical conditions.

Further, influenza may trigger medical events like strokes and heart attacks because of the possible destabilizing effects that the inflammatory response can have on the cardiovascular system.

FLUZONE® High-Dose Influenza Vaccine has been shown to generate an enhanced vaccine-induced immune response in those 65 years of age and older compared to a standard dose vaccine.

A large, randomized, clinical trial also demonstrated that FLUZONE® High-Dose Influenza Vaccine provided superior efficacy against laboratory-confirmed influenza illness compared to a standard dose vaccine in adults 65 year of age and older.

Contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to see if FLUZONE® High-Dose is right for you! For more information, visit www.fluhd.ca.