Elderly people must get high-dose flu shots, the Oregon study said Northwest News



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The high-dose flu vaccine has proven to be far more effective in keeping the elderly healthy, a study by the Oregon Health Authority said.

The state public health institute collects data on flu hospitalizations every year. Researchers there tracked more than 144,000 Portland residents aged 65 years and over during last year's flu season. They found that older people who received high-dose flu shots were 30 percent less likely to be hospitalized.

High-dose injections are four times stronger than standard, because they contain more antigens that trigger an immune response to the virus. Parents often have a weaker immune system and can be susceptible to flu even with standard vaccines.

Steve Robison, lead author of the study and epidemiologist in the Oregon Immunization Program, said that seniors must get the most appropriate flu vaccine to increase their immune response. High-dose vaccines are the best choice.

The study did not take into account the adjuvanted vaccine – which contains extra chemicals intended to create a stronger reaction to antigens – but Robison said it was also a better choice than the flu shot standard.

The study focused on people who received the flu attack before December 11, 2016. The flu outbreak became the worst in mid-January, so that this period allows vaccinated people to develop antibodies to fight the virus.

Oregon is one of several countries that tracks flu hospitalization, which allows research.

This research took place during the very bad flu season. All age groups tracked by the federal government have a large number of people who visit outpatient clinics and emergency departments and are hospitalized for flu. The length of time and geographical distribution of these reports is also very high.

Children die at the highest number ever. From autumn 2017 to spring 2018, 180 children died of flu – the highest in the US, surpassing 171 in 2013.

About 80 percent of children who die do not receive the flu vaccine.

For those who receive the vaccine, it helps reduce the need for medical attention by up to 40 percent.

The flu vaccine is covered by insurance and Medicare. Pharmacy vaccination programs tend to charge around $ 30 for trivalent standards, and other types are slightly more expensive.

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