Senior citizens will have some extra protection this flu season: A new “high dose” version of the flu vaccine intended the boost the immune system of people 65 and older. In this installment of KERA’s Vital Signs, Dr. Adam McDaniel, an internist with Centennial Medical Center, explains how the new vaccine works.
Three Things To Know About The High-Dose Flu Vaccine:
- How It Works. The vaccine contains a higher dose of antibodies – typically pieces of dead virus – into the bloodstream that the body can learn to recognize and creates an immune response against.
- Why It’s Necessary. Seniors have weaker immune systems due to aging. Also, close proximity to each other through living in skilled nursing and rehab facilities makes seniors more susceptible to contracting the virus and makes the flu more difficult to battle after contracting it. And because people 60 and over account for 90 percent of the 40,000 annual deaths from influenza.
- Who Should Get The Vaccine. Dr. Adam McDaniel recommends the high dose shot for anyone 65 and over, unless they have an allergic response to eggs, egg protein or one of the components in the flu vaccine itself.
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