High-Dose Flu Vax Better for Frail Elderly

Source: MedPage Today

By: Smith, Michael


Preliminary research indicates that the high-dose flu vaccine boosted antibody responses in frail elderly people in long-term care when compared to standard vaccines. The randomized, single-blind trial involved more than 200 residents of long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania. The participants, who were on average 86 to 87 years old and needed help with many everyday activities, were randomly assigned, over two flu seasons, to receive either the high-dose or standard dose of flu vaccine. The researchers monitored changes in antibody levels 30 days after vaccination as the primary endpoint of the study. Dr. Richard Zimmerman of the University of Pittsburgh reported at IDWeek 2013 that the high-dose vaccine was superior for all strains except A/H1N1 among frail elderly nursing home residents in 2012-2013. He noted that about a third of the subjects participated in both years, so that could be the result of already being vaccinated against it, and average antibody levels against the pandemic flu strain at baseline in the second year were much higher than they were in the first year.

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