Influenza Vaccine, Less Hospitalizations: What’s in Store for the Elderly?

July 30, 2017

The elderly population has been growing at a constant rate these days, making it vital to understand different measures to cope with medical conditions and their impact on seniors. Infections are out and about, definitely creating huge impacts on the elderly. Hence, the need for studies to combat these are undertaken as well.

 

Influenza is a prevalent condition among the elderly (those ages 65 and above). In fact, it just so happens that it has the highest rates of mortality and complications (most especially on those with more than one comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, and others).  Also, lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia turned out to be the primary cause of hospital admissions and even deaths in older adults.

Since many vaccines do not usually work well in the elderly due to immunosenescence, it is indeed a challenge especially because it leads to grave respiratory illnesses or influenza-linked conditions in weak patients. According to some systematic analyses among the elderly, influenza vaccination is responsible for the continuously developing strains.

In a recent study published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine, proponents studied whether an influenza vaccine with four times the antigen of a regular vaccine can lessen the hospitalization of at-risk elderly. And according to results, it was indeed the case. The study focused on healthy individuals, although it can still be helpful to know that increasing the dose lessens the risk for hospitalization by 13 percent.

In this case, it would be of great help if care providers, home care services companies, and other stakeholders can take a further look at the elderly’s influenza vaccines. Through this, they can, in a way, prevent medical conditions that could hamper daily living and health.

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