Fall is here as of this past Monday, and flu season is not too far away. The CDC recommends flu shots for everyone over 6 months of age, and doctors are especially pushing flu shots for seniors. The flu can be deadly for seniors, as people 65 years and older are at especially high risk of serious complications than younger adults. It s estimated that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in seniors.
However, with several types of flu shots available, information about the different options is needed. Savvy Senior, an information column for older Americans, recently published a brief overview of the flu vaccines available for seniors.
The standard (trivalent) flu shot protects against common A strains, H1N1 and H3N2, as well as an influenza B virus, while the newer quadrivalent flu shot protects against an additional B-strain virus.
The flu shot specifically designed for seniors is the high-dose flu shot. As we ve reported before, adequate evidence shows that the high-dose flu shot is more effective for seniors than the standard shot. The higher-dose shot has four times the amount of antigen, allowing for better protection.
Also recommended by the CDC for seniors is the pneumonia vaccine. Both Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23 are recommended for seniors. For those who haven t received any pneumonia vaccine, Prevnar 13 should be received first, followed by Pneumovax 23 eight weeks later.
It s also important to note that Medicare covers 100 percent of all flu shot costs, while only one pneumonia vaccine per adult is covered.