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Revved-up Flu Shots Recommended For Adults 65 & Up This Flu Season

Seniors are urged to get an extra-strength dose of the flu shot. Doctors advise that vaccine-weary Americans not skip out on their flu shots this fall and recommend a revved-up flu shot for older adults. Flu levels hit historically low levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, medical professionals fear a terrible flu season is on the horizon. One reason, a nasty flu season just ended in Australia.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a concrete way to predict if the U.S. will experience the same hit. “Last year, we were going into flu season not knowing if flu was around or not. This year we know flu is back,” said influenza specialist Richard Webby of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Flu shots are recommended in individuals as young as six months. However, the flu is the most dangerous for people 65 and older, young children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems. As people age, their immune system doesn’t respond as strongly to the standard flu vaccination; thus, extra-strength doses being available.

Different Types of Revved-Up Flu Shots

Currently, there are three choices – Fluzone High Dose, Flublok, and Fluad Adjuvanted. Fluzone High Dose and Flublok contain higher doses of the main anti-flu ingredient. Fluad Adjuvanted contains a regular dose and a special ingredient that helps boost people’s immune systems.

Seniors can inquire about which kind their doctor’s office carries. But most flu vaccinations are administered at pharmacies and drugstores, such as CVS. These locations automatically offer senior doses if the patient’s birth date shows they qualify. Even if revved-up flu shots aren’t available, it’s better to get the standard dose than skip vaccination.

All flu vaccines in the U.S. are “quadrivalent.” This means they guard against four different flu strains. Younger people have choices, too, including shots for those with egg allergies and a nasal spray version called FluMist.

Revised Flu Shots in the Future

Moderna and Pfizer are testing flu shots made with the same technology as their COVID-19 vaccinations. When influenza mutates, the recipes of so-called mRNA vaccines could be updated more quickly than today’s flu shots, most of which are made by growing the influenza virus in chicken eggs.

Presently, Pfizer is recruiting 25,000 healthy U.S. adults to receive its experimental flu shot or the regular kind. In contrast, Moderna tested its version on about 6,000 people in Australia, Argentina, and other countries during their flu seasons.


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