It has been shown that a high-dose flu vaccine is much more effective in maintaining healthy seniors – according to a study by the Oregon Health Authority. The state public health agency collects data on hospitalization of influenza every year. Researchers have studied over 144,000 people in the Portland area aged 65 or over during last year's flu season.
It turned out that older people who received a high dose flu shot were 30 percent more likely to be hospitalized. A high dose shot is four times stronger than a standard one because it contains more antigens that trigger an immune response to the virus. Seniors often have weaker immune systems and may be susceptible to influenza even with a standard vaccine.
Steve Robison, the lead author of the study and epidemiologist of the Oregon Vaccination Program, said that seniors should get the flu vaccine best suited to boosting their immune response. The best solution is high-dose vaccines.
The study did not include adjuvant vaccines – which contain an additional chemical to create a stronger response to antigens. Robison said they were a better option than the standard flu vaccine. The study focused on those who received the flu vaccine before December 11, 2016. The flu epidemics become worst in mid-January, so this time has enabled the vaccinated people to develop antibodies against viruses.
Oregon is one of the few states that track flu hospitalizations, which allowed the study. This study took place during the bad influenza season. All age groups tracked by the federal government had a large number of people who visited clinics and emergency departments and were hospitalized. The length of time and geographical coverage of these reports was extremely high.
Children died at the highest pace. From autumn 2017 to spring of 2018, 180 children died of influenza – the highest ever in the US. About 80 percent of the dead children did not receive the flu vaccine. For those who received the vaccine, it helped reduce the need for medical assistance by 40 percent.
The influenza vaccine is covered by insurance and Medicare.
Vaccination programs in pharmacies usually charge about $ 30 for a standard triple injection, while others are slightly more expensive.