A high-dose flu vaccine has been shown to be far more effective in maintaining healthy elderly, according to a study by the Oregon Health Authority.
The State Public Health Agency collects data on influenza hospitalization each year. The researchers tracked more than 144,000 Portland residents aged 65 and older during the flu season last year. They found that older people who received the high dose of influenza had a 30% lower risk of hospitalization.
The high-dose shot is four times higher than usual because it contains more antigens that trigger an immune response to the virus. The elderly often have weaker immune systems and can be susceptible to influenza even with a standard vaccine.
Steve Robison, lead author of the study and epidemiologist for the Oregon vaccination program, said the elderly should receive a flu vaccine that is best suited to boosting their immune response. High dose vaccines are the best bet.
The study did not take into account adjuvant vaccines that contain an additional chemical designed to produce a stronger response to antigens, but according to Robison, these are also a better option than a normal flu drop.
The study focused on people who received the flu shot before December 11, 2016. Flu outbreaks became the worst in mid-January, so this time frame allowed immunized people to develop antibodies to fight viruses.
Oregon is one of the few countries to monitor influenza hospitalization, making the study possible.
This study took place during a particularly severe flu season. All the age groups investigated by the federal government had a high number of people who visited emergency clinics and emergency departments and were hospitalized for influenza. The time and geographical distribution of these reports was also particularly high.
Children died at the highest rate. From the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2018, 180 children died of flu – the highest ever in the US, 171 in 2013.
About 80% of the children who died did not receive a flu vaccine.
For those who received the vaccine, it helped reduce the medical need by 40%.
The flu vaccine is covered by medical insurance. Drug-saving drugs tend to charge about $ 30 for a standard trivalent shot, and other types are a bit more expensive.