Study: High-Dose Flu Vaccine More Effective in Older Adults


A new study by the Food and Drug Administration shows the Fluzone High-Dose influenza vaccine is more effective than the regular vaccine at preventing the flu in older adults.

The FDA approved the high-dose vaccine four years ago but wanted to know more about its prevention capabilities. The agency asked the manufacturer to conduct a study. Dr. H. Keipp Talbot, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, headed up the study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Talbot divided 32,000 people, who were older than 65, into two groups. One group got the standard vaccine and the other got the Fluzone vaccine, which contains four times as much flu virus antigen. Researchers found Fluzone was 24 percent more effective at preventing influenza than the standard dose.

The high-dose shot was developed because older adults produce 50 to 75 percent fewer antibodies than younger adults after being given the regular flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still evaluating whether to officially recommend the Fluzone vaccine to older people across the board.

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