A recent study from the Veterans Affairs found that the high-dose influenza vaccine is most effective for those aged ≥85 years. Findings from the study are published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

People aged 65–84 years benefit from the standard vaccine just as well, researchers reported. They sought to determine if a specific age bracket within the elderly population made a difference in vaccine response. The study tracked hospitalizations and deaths in over 165,000 Veterans Affairs patients who received either the regular or high-dose vaccine during the 2010–2011 season. Data showed no difference in overall outcome between the two groups. A secondary analysis showed, however, there was a stronger effect for patients aged ≥85 years.

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Results from this study contrast with those from other published studies. One study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that the high-dose vaccine was 22% more effective at preventing flu-related hospital admissions during the 2012–2013 season. Another study of older adults published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the high-dose vaccine better protected against lab-confirmed flu than the standard-dose vaccine and it triggered more antibodies during 2011–2013.

Researchers note more research is needed across multiple years to reach a more definitive conclusion.

For more information visit VA.gov.