3 Options for Flu Vaccines

Written by
NMS Flu Team
Published on
February 22, 2019 at 11:58:00 AM PST February 22, 2019 at 11:58:00 AM PSTnd, February 22, 2019 at 11:58:00 AM PST

Every year, complications resulting from the flu hospitalize an average of 200,000 people in the United States. Beginning 24 hours before symptoms appear, to seven days after becoming clearly ill, adults having the flu virus can transmit it to others. 

However, healthcare professionals have different methods of fighting influenza available to them, and here are three of them.

1. Flu Vaccines for Seniors.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), individuals 65 years of age and over have a higher risk of developing severe flu complications than younger adults in good health. This is because our immune systems weaken with age. For this reason, the CDC believes that it is particularly important for seniors to be vaccinated against the flu.

The high-dose type of vaccine for seniors has a more concentrated formula containing four times as much antigen as a conventional flu vaccine. Clinical trial results indicated that out of over 30,000 participants aged 65 years and up, those who were given a high dose flu vaccine displayed 24% fewer flu infections compared to those who were given a standard dose flu vaccine.

Adjuvanted vaccines for the flu, such as Fluad, contain the additive MF59 adjuvant to initiate a stronger immune system response to the vaccination. A 2011-2012 Canadian observational study of 282 seniors found the Fluad vaccine to be 63% more effective than conventional standard-dose flu vaccinations.

2. Preservative-Free Vaccines.

Verywell Health reports that aside from containing no thimerosal as a preservative, the formula for this type of vaccine contains the same four killed virus strains as other quadrivalent flu vaccines. They are also given using the same timing and dosage as a conventional flu vaccination. Preservative-free flu vaccinations are available in a single-dose vial, rather than the multi-dose vials offered by other types of flu shots.

3. Pre-filled Syringes (PFSs).

Pharmacy Times reports that this practice can increase efficiency since there is no need to spend time drawing up PFSs. The CDC also adds that using PFSs enhances patient safety, especially in a fast-paced clinical setting, since PFSs have an uncomplicated design, and do not require relying on consistently perfect technique to lower risks that are injection-related.

Influenza can lead to serious complications, particularly for seniors, and fighting it requires practicing common-sense preventative measures, such as washing our hands frequently. However, we also have effective options such as flu vaccinations designed for seniors, preservative-free vaccines, and PFSs to offer individuals as protection from the flu.