Mission: To save lives and reduce hospitalizations by protecting children, families, and communities against influenza.
Flu and Seniors

Influenza and seniors

All adults should receive an annual flu vaccine to protect themselves from the flu. There are specific vaccines for people 65+ to provide extra protection.

Impact of Flu on Seniors

During most flu seasons, individuals who are 65 years of age or older tend to bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease.2



During recent flu seasons, people 65+ account for:

Danger of Flu in Seniors

Even though today’s seniors are often healthy and active, our immune systems become less effective as we age. This puts older individuals at a greater risk of contracting flu and developing serious complications that may impact their health in both the immediate and long term. 

Seniors hospitalized from influenza

An otherwise healthy adult may end up hospitalized and suffer with permanent health consequences that could have been avoided.2  

Even after recovering from the flu, seniors remain at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or other health disabilities.3 

Seniors with flu have increased risk of heart attack, stroke or other health disabilities

Influenza can pose severe risk to Seniors

For seniors who already suffer with chronic health conditions, the flu can pose a more severe risk.4 Learn more about the various health conditions that can elevate an individual's risk of complications from flu here.

Benefits of Flu Vaccination in Seniors

Flu vaccination not only reduces the number of flu illnesses among seniors, but studies have shown that it also reduces the likelihood of more serious flu outcomes such as:5,6

Intensive care

unit admissions

Intensive care unit

length of stay

Overall duration of

hospitalization stay



Which Flu Vaccines are Recommended for People 65+?


High Dose Flu Vaccine

The high-dose flu vaccine, Fluzone, contains a higher amount of antigens than a regular flu shot. Studies show that adults who received the high dose vaccine had 24% fewer influenza infections as compared to those who received the standard dose flu vaccine.

Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine

The adjuvanted flu vaccine, Fluad, is made with a stronger antigen that is intended to create a stronger immune response to vaccination. In an observational study, Fluad was 63% more effective than regular dose unadjuvanted flu shots.


Visit these other pages to learn more:

Page last reviewed: October 2021.

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