A high-dose flu vaccine has proven to be much more effective in keeping the elderly healthy, says a Oregon Health Authority study.
The state public health agency collects data on flu deprivations each year. Researchers there traced more than 144,000 Portland residents 65 years or older during last year's flu season. They found that elderly who received high dose flu were shot 30 percent less likely to get into hospital.
The high dose shot is four times stronger than the standard, as it contains more antigens that trigger an immune response to a virus. Seniors often have weaker immune systems and may be susceptible to flu even with a common vaccine.
Steve Robison, senior author of the study and epidemiologist in the Oregon immunization program, said that seniors should get an influenza vaccine that is best adapted to boost their immune response. High-dose vaccines are the best bet.
The study did not take into account adjuvanted vaccines – containing an additional chemical designed to create a stronger response to the antigens – but Robison said they are also a better alternative than the standard flu.
The study focused on people who received influenza missed before December 11, 2016. Influenza outbreaks became worst in mid-January, so this time frame enabled the vaccinated individuals to develop antibodies to viruses.
Oregon is one of the few states that follow influenza psychiatry, which made the study possible.
This study took place during a particularly bad flu season. All age groups traced by the federal government had a large number of people who visited outpatient clinics and emergency departments and were in charge of flu. The time and geographical distribution of these reports were also unusually high.
Children died most ever. From autumn 2017 to spring 2018, 180 children died from flu – the highest ever in the US, peaked 171 in 2013.
About 80 percent of the children who died did not receive an influenza vaccine.
For those who received the vaccine, it helped reduce the need for medical care by 40 percent.
The influenza vaccine is covered by insurance and Medicare. Drug vaccination tends to charge about $ 30 for a common trivalent shot, and other types are slightly more expensive.