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Difference Between Flu Shots for Seniors vs. Regular Flu Shots

Posted on March 3, 2022
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People ages 65 and older are recommended to receive a flu vaccine that is specially formulated for their age. As we get older, our immune systems aren’t as strong, which is why a stronger vaccine is needed.

For people 65+, there is a greater chance of getting sick, hospitalized, or dying from the flu. Those in this age group typically live with at least one chronic medical condition like lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, which increases their risk of flu complications.

Between 70 – 85% of flu deaths occur in seniors 65 years and older. Therefore, higher strength flu vaccines can be life-saving.

What is the difference between standard flu vaccines and flu vaccines for people 65+?

Regular Flu Vaccine:

  • Age: Can be given to people under 65-years-old
  • Strength: Standard
  • Timing: Every year by the end of October
  • Number of Doses: 1 for people ages 9 and above. If a child is under 9 receiving a flu vaccine for the first time, they need two doses separated by 1 month.

Flu Shots for Seniors:

  • Age: Should be given to all people 65+
  • Strength: Contains ingredients or is made in a way that creates a stronger immune response, which is important for people in this age range. A stronger immune response allows for better protection against flu.
  • Timing: Every year by the end of October
  • Number of Doses: 1

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you receive an age-appropriate flu vaccine that offers optimal health and best protects against serious outcomes.

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