Here’s what you need to know about the new 2018 flu vaccines for 65 years and over
While influenza affects people of all ages, infections among the elderly are more likely to require hospitalisation or cause serious complications such as pneumonia and heart attacks. Of the 1,100 Australians who died last year (2017) from flu-related causes, 90% were aged 65 and over.
The two free vaccines for over-65s available for this 2018 flu season, work in different ways:
FluZone High Dose is a high-dose version
Fluad adds an additional ingredient to boost its effectiveness
Both are recommended for use only in people aged 65 and over. But neither is perfect. It is important to remember flu vaccines are, at best, only partially protective.
Older people’s immune systems don’t respond to flu vaccines as well as younger people’s.
Compounding this problem is that the flu subtype that tends to affect older people (A/H3N2) is different to that which affects younger people (A/H1N1).
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have issued an alert for the Fluad trivalent influenza vaccine for patients with a latex allergy.
See more information here.
Page published: 26 March 2018
Page updated: 20 April 2018