High-dose flu shot for older people even stronger this year amid COVID-19 pandemic

Health

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Health experts agree that it is more important than ever to get vaccinated for the flu this year. For those 65-years-old and over, the high-dose vaccine now has more of a boost than last year’s version. Added immunity that many may need as we head into the fall and winter months.

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Dr. Rahul Gupta is Chief of Geriatrics at Hartford Healthcare’s St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

“During this season, more than any other season, it is important to get your flu vaccination especially because coronavirus is going to continue to be in our community,” advises Dr. Gupta.

Both COVID-19 and the flu can be deadly in older people.

“That’s the most vulnerable population. More than 90 percent of the deaths because of flu happen in 65 and above,” he adds.

Doctor Gupta says all the more reason for people 65 and over to seek out Fluzone high-dose quadrivalent.

“It will be more protective against more viruses, more types of flu viruses so that is the key. It has one more antigen than what there was last year,” Dr. Gupta explains.

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According to the CDC, the higher dose of antigen in the vaccine is intended to give older people a better immune response.

Doctor Gupta says that fourth antigen is the improvement over last year’s three.

He also urges people to check the status of all vaccinations like shingles.

“You might be due for a pneumonia vaccine, make sure you talk to your doctor or pharmacist about it.”

As for when to get this high dose flu shot, Doctor Gupta likes later in October so that immunity lasts pasts the peak of flu season in February into the spring months when the flu can still be active.

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