The FDA has approved a new flu shot for individuals over the age of 65. The shot, called Fluzone High Dose has four times the amount of antigen (virus particles) than a regular seasonal flu shot. Why increase the dose? Studies have shown that the immune response of elderly patients is much lower than other adults. Additionally, the elderly are more likely to develop serious complications from influenza. The new vaccine will be available for the 2010-2011 flu season. So does a higher dose mean more side effects? That's a tricky question. Manufacturers claim that since the antigen is a killed virus you are not at a higher risk of developing serious complications than you would be if you took the standard dose. However, studies did show an increased incidence of "mild" side effects such as redness and swelling in the muscle where the injection was given, headaches, and fever.
Have Questions? Find out answers to your specific questions on my forum and get support from others.