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Flu Vaccine for Seniors Approved

A high-dose shot for people 65 and older

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

THURSDAY, Dec. 24, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Fluzone High-Dose, a seasonal flu vaccine for people 65 and older, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency said in a news release.

Seniors are at highest risk for complications of seasonal flu, including hospitalization and death. The Fluzone High-Dose vaccine, designed to prevent infection with influenza subtypes A and B, was given accelerated approval as a product designed to prevent serious or life-threatening disease. As part of the approval, manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur is required to "conduct further studies to verify that [the vaccine] will decrease seasonal influenza after vaccination," the FDA said.

Because of the vaccine's higher potency, mild side effects were reported more frequently compared with Sanofi's standard-strength Fluzone vaccine, the agency said. These included pain, injection-site redness and swelling, headache, muscle ache and fever.

People who are sensitive to egg products or who have had life-threatening reactions to prior flu shots shouldn't be vaccinated with Fluzone High-Dose, the FDA said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about flu vaccination.


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