Health

CDC panel recommends new flu shots for older people

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The federal advisory board said on Wednesday that Americans 65 and older should get a new flu shot.

Regular injections do not provide sufficient protection for older people who have weakened immune systems and do not respond well to conventional injections, they said.

Injections include Fluzone high doses, Fluad or Flublok with immune boosters.

If no new vaccine is available, members said older people should get regular flu shots.

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

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Vanderbilt University panelist Dr. “This flu shot is better, but still not the home run we want,” Helen Keipp Talbot said.

The panel’s recommendations are generally endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but this is the first time the government has revealed a preference for a flu vaccine for this age group.

Washington Governor Jay Insley (left) receives a flu shot from Kaiser Permanent Nurse Senetra Pickens at the Olympia Capitol in Washington on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

Washington Governor Jay Insley (left) receives a flu shot from Kaiser Permanent Nurse Senetra Pickens at the Olympia Capitol in Washington on Thursday, October 15, 2020.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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

Influenza viruses are detected year-round in the United States. Influenza viruses are more common in the fall and winter.

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Activity often begins to increase in October.

The agency says everyone over 6 months of age should get a flu shot every year.

File - On Thursday, January 23, 2020, in file photo, a patient is being vaccinated against the flu in Mesquite, Texas.

File – On Thursday, January 23, 2020, in file photo, a patient is being vaccinated against the flu in Mesquite, Texas.
(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

People over the age of 65 are at a higher risk of complications from the flu.

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It is estimated that 70-85% of seasonal influenza-related deaths in recent years are over 65 years of age.

50-70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occurred in people in this age group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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