The high dose flu vaccine is new vaccination on the market formulated for people age 65 years and older. Like other flu vaccines, the high-dose is made up of the three flu strains most likely to cause the flu during the upcoming season.
The high-dose vaccine, however, contains four times as much flu virus antigen — the part of the vaccine that stimulates the immune system — as standard flu vaccines.
According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the recently introduced high-dose flu vaccine is 24.2 percent more effective than the standard version in preventing flu in that age group. The study involved 126 research centers in the United States and Canada and included nearly 32,000 adults 65 years and older during two flu seasons: the 2011-2012 flu season, which had low influenza activity with moderate to good match between vaccine and circulating strains; and the 2012-2013 season, which had high influenza activity as well as a mismatch between vaccine and circulating strains. Patients were randomized to receive either high-dose trivalent or standard-dose trivalent flu vaccine. The findings: Those receiving high-dose vaccine had significantly higher antibody response to the vaccine. They also documented who got sick after receiving the vaccination. Overall, 228 persons receiving the high-dose vaccine and 301 receiving standard-dose trivalent vaccine had laboratory-confirmed flu, which translates into a relative efficacy of 24.2%.
The study concluded that in seniors 65 years or older, those receiving high-dose trivalent flu vaccine had better antibody response and better protection against getting sick with flu as compared to those receiving standard trivalent vaccine.
The national vaccine attorneys at My Vaccine Lawyer will closely monitor subsequent studies and statistics as the high dose flu vaccine reaches larger portions of the populations. As always, if you or a loved one sustains a reaction or injury from the high-dose flu vaccine or any other vaccine, contact us today to speak with an experienced vaccine attorney.