But second waves of influenza are not unusual, and some health experts say it is possible that a late winter or spring surge could be coming.
COVID-19 cases have been falling in recent weeks,
leading to a decline in mask wearing and behaviors that
may have been keeping flu down this winter. As people
become less cautious, flu or other respiratory viruses
can surge, according to CDC officials.
Of all the age groups, the 65 and over crowd faces the
greatest risk of developing serious complications from
the flu. In fact, the CDC estimates that of all the people
hospitalized each year with flu, up to 70% are seniors.
Even more troubling is the fact that 70 to 85% of flu-related
deaths typically occur among people 65 and
Two different flu shots – the Fluzone High Dose and
FLUAD – are designed specifically for seniors. You
only need one of them. They provide extra protection
beyond what a standard flu shot provides. While they
cannot guarantee you won’t get the flu, they will lower
Fluzone High Dose: Approved for U.S. use in 2009,
this is a high-potency vaccine that contains four
times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot,
which creates a stronger immune response for better
protection. This vaccine, according to a 2013 clinical
trial, was 24% more effective than the regular-dose
shot at preventing flu in seniors.
FLUAD: Available in the U.S. since 2016, this vaccine
contains an added ingredient called adjuvant MF59 that
also helps create a stronger immune response. In a 2012
Canadian observational study, FLUAD was 63%
more effective than a regular flu shot.
The CDC does not recommend one vaccination over the
other, and to date, there have been no studies comparing
You should also know that both the Fluzone High-Dose
and FLUAD can cause milder effects than occur with
a standard-dose flu shot, like pain or tenderness where
you got the shot, muscle aches, headache or fatigue.
And neither vaccine is recommended for seniors who
are allergic to chicken eggs, or those who have had a
severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.
Both vaccines are also fully covered by KelseyCare
The American Medical Association (AMA) has more
information about the risks of COVID-19 and flu co-infection