Did you know that there are flu shots just for people over 65? They’re called high-dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines. These shots may do a better job of protecting older adults from the flu and its serious risks.
Specialized shots offer enhanced protection
The flu isn’t just an annoyance. It can make you very sick. Flu complications, like pneumonia, can raise your risk for hospitalization and even death. And people ages 65 and older are more likely than healthy younger people to get very sick if they get the flu.
Getting a flu shot may help keep you from getting seriously ill and having to go to the hospital if you catch the flu. But as you age, your immune system changes. As a result, you may get less protection from a regular flu shot. That’s why public health experts now recommend that people over 65 get one of these types of flu shots:
High-dose flu shot. This vaccine has four times the dose of a standard flu shot. It helps give the body a stronger immune response. This vaccine has been around since 2009.
Adjuvanted flu shots. This vaccine contains an ingredient called an adjuvant that helps the immune system fend off the flu. This vaccine has been used since 2016.
Getting vaccinated is the number-one way to prevent the flu, no matter which flu shot you choose. You can get a flu shot from your doctor, a clinic or a pharmacy. And since flu season can last all winter, it’s not too late to get your shot.
Spread the word — not the flu
While you’re at it, you might want to spread the message to your younger friends and family too. With very few exceptions, flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older.
Sources: National Institute on Aging; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention