Flu 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.
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
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
length of stay
Overall duration of
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.
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Page last reviewed: October 2021.