CDC Panel Recommends Older Adults Get New Flu Vaccines

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A federal advisory panel said Wednesday that Americans aged 65 and over should get newer flu vaccines.

Regular vaccinations don’t provide enough protection for older people, whose weakened immune systems don’t respond as well to traditional vaccines, they say.

Vaccinations include Fluzone High-Dose, Fluad Immunostimulant, or Flublok.

If no new shots are available, older people should get regular flu shots, participants said.

Huntington, NY: Wendy Gonzalez, NY prepares a flu shot at Huntington Village Pediatrics in Huntington, NY on December 8, 2021.

Huntington, NY: Wendy Gonzalez, NY prepares a flu shot at Huntington Village Pediatrics in Huntington, NY on December 8, 2021.
(Photo by Steve Pfost/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

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These flu vaccines better, but it’s still not the home run we’d like to have,” said panel member Dr. Helen Cuypp Talbot of Vanderbilt University.

The group’s recommendations are generally accepted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but this will be the first time the government has declared a preference for the flu vaccine for this age group.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (left) receives a flu shot from Senetra Pickens, a Kaiser Permanente nurse, Thursday, October.  February 15, 2020 at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (left) receives a flu shot from Senetra Pickens, a Kaiser Permanente nurse. February 15, 2020 at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington.
(AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)

CDC officials said last winter’s flu vaccine was only 35% effective in preventing flu symptoms severe enough to require medical attention.

Bye flu viruses discovered year round in the USA. Influenza viruses are most prevalent in autumn and winter.

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Activity often begins to pick up in October.

The agency said all six-month-olds and older must get an annual flu shot.

FILE - This Thursday, Jan.  February 23, 2020 file photo of a patient receiving a flu vaccine in Mesquite, Texas.

FILE – This Thursday, Jan. February 23, 2020 file photo of a patient receiving a flu vaccine in Mesquite, Texas.
(AP Photo / LM Otero, file)

People aged 65 and older are at higher risk development of influenza complications.

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In recent years, between 70% and 85% of seasonal influenza-related deaths are estimated to occur in people aged 65 and over.

Between 50% and 70% of seasonal influenza-related hospitalizations are in this age group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.