High-dose flu shots FAQs
What is a high-dose flu vaccine?
Containing three flu strains, a high-dose flu vaccine is a flu shot aimed at defending against illness for a specific flu season.
Containing four times the amount of antigen (the part of the vaccine that causes the body to produce antibody) in regular flu shots, high-dose
flu shots, along with the additional antigen produced, are intended to create a stronger immune response.
With age also comes the decreased ability to have a good immune response to a flu vaccine, thus creating a greater risk for older people of
severe illness from influenza. But with a higher dose of antigen, older people gain a heightened immune response.
While Fluzone High-Dose is approved for use in people age 65 and older, those who have suffered from a severe reaction in the past and
people with a severe allergy to chicken or eggs should refrain from using the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/qa_fluzone.htm >>
How does Fluzone High-Dose differ from a regular flu shot?
While all injectable flu shots are made up of the three strains most likely to cause you to become ill in any given season and are developed
to protect people from influzena, only Fluzone High-Dose shots contain four times the amount of antigen (the part of the vaccine that prompts
the body to make antibody) found in regular flu shots, along with additional antigen intended to produce an overall stronger immune response.
What demographic is approved for this vaccine?
The vaccine, Fluzone High-Dose, is approved for people age 65 and older, although like all flu vaccines, it is not recommended for those who
have previously experienced severe flu vaccine reactions.
Is there a reason high-dose flu shots are recommended for those 65+ and not younger?
Put plainly and simply, with age comes weaker human immune defenses that ultimately place older people at increased risk of illness. With
a higher dose of antigen in the vaccine, older people can gain a better immune response and better protect themselves against the flu.
Can receiving Fluzone High-Dose vaccine be harmful?
Similar to recipients of regular flu shots, patients who received Fluzone High-Dose reported adverse effects such as mild and temporary pain,
redness and swelling at the site of injection as well as headaches, muscle aches, fever and malaise. After receiving a Fluzone High-Dose
vaccine, a majority of people in clinical studies had minimal to no side effects.
Please note: This flu vaccine does not contain live virus and, therefore, cannot give patients the flu.
Where can I learn more about Fluzone High-Dose vaccines?
Visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for additional information.
Will the high-dose flu shot protect me from pneumonia?
No. Unfortunately, it only defends against influenza. Learn more about the pneumonia vaccine.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ >>