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Why It's Essential To Have Specific Flu Vaccines For Seniors

Written by
NMS Flu Team
Published on
November 26, 2018 at 11:16:00 AM PST November 26, 2018 at 11:16:00 AM PSTth, November 26, 2018 at 11:16:00 AM PST

Many flu vaccines and other types of preventative vaccines are available in several forms, but one variety of vaccine that is often seen is a specific formulation for elders. This is the case with many more common flu vaccine types: the Fluzone vaccine's high-dose variant, the FLUAD vaccine, and more. But why do seniors require flu vaccines for seniors exclusively? What about the composition of these vaccines is different that makes them specially designed for an elderly population?

The Differences

Vaccines designed specifically for seniors, such as the Fluzone vaccine's high-dose version, typically have an increased level of antigens compared to a standard equivalent for a general adult population. This results in a more concentrated vaccine formula, which can be incredibly important for elderly populations.

Because elderly populations tend to be more susceptible to illness, having a more concentrated vaccine can be incredibly helpful in preparing the body's immune system. These flu vaccines better prepare elders' immune systems for fighting off infection, as the increased antigens trigger the immune system's response more strongly.

The Similarities

Aside from the increased concentration, there are, in fact, few differences between the Fluzone vaccine for seniors and the average adult. The active elements of the vaccine remain the same; the primary difference is the concentration of antigens.

Because of this, technically speaking, elder patients can receive a standard Fluzone vaccine meant for most adults; however, having a specific formulation for elders may still be advisable. Overall, the similarities far outweigh the differences, and it is better to be vaccinated than not, even if the higher concentration is unavailable.

Why Elder Inoculation Matters

Because elders typically have a weakened immune system compared to the average healthy adult, it is essential to make sure elderly populations are properly vaccinated against the flu and other preventable diseases. While an average healthy adult is able to manage flu symptoms, roughly 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year due to complications caused by the flu, many of them seniors with weakened immune systems. Proper vaccination can prevent unnecessary and avoidable illness and harm, particularly when it comes to vulnerable populations; vaccines with specific formulation for elderly populations can help seniors everywhere stay safe and healthy.