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 in 2017 from flu-related causes, 90% were aged 65 and over.
Older people’s immune systems don’t respond to flu vaccines as well as that of younger people. So for the 2020 Influenza season in Australia, there is a vaccine specifically designed for people aged 65 and over – Fluad® Quad. It is a quadrivalent vaccine (contains 4 strains of the influenza virus), as well as an adjuvant – an ingredient that helps boost the immune response. Fluad® Quad is free under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
It is important to remember flu vaccines are, at best, only partially protective. For more information speak to your GP.