An increased dose of influenza vaccine stimulates
a greater immune response than the standard dose in long-term care
residents older than 65 years, according to a new study from Richard
Zimmerman, MD, from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.
MedScape, Fluzone, a high-dose influenza vaccine, was approved by the US
Food and Drug Administration in 2009 for use in adults older than 65
years. The vaccine delivers 4 times the standard dose of antigen.
Dr. Zimmerman and his team vaccinated 205 residents in various
long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing, assisted living,
dementia care, and independent living facilities during the 2011-12 and
2012-13 flu seasons. Of the 169 participants who completed the study, 87
received the regular dose and 82 received the high dose. The mean age
of those who completed the study was 87. A month later, the
concentration of antibodies increased in all the subjects, but increased
more in those who received the high-dose vaccination.
In a related JAMA study, receiving an influenza vaccination was
associated with a lower risk of major adverse cardiovascular events such
as heart failure or hospitalization for heart attack, with the greatest
treatment effect seen among patients with heart attack or unstable angina.
So studies seem to suggest that the flu vaccine is more good than
bad. So if you have been delaying, check with your doctor and consider having the shot this year. I did for the first time after a really bad flu during the Christmas holidays last year.
DO THIS: Check with your doctor and get the shot if right for you.
NOT THAT: Don't read this post and ignore it. It could potentially prevent health issues for you or a loved one later.