The CDC panel recommends that seniors receive newer flu vaccines

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A federal advisory panel said Wednesday that Americans age 65 and older should get newer flu vaccines.

Regular shots, they said, do not provide adequate protection for the elderly whose weakened immune systems do not respond as well to traditional shots.

The shots include Fluzone High-Dose, Fluad with an Immune Booster or Flublok.

If the newer shots are not available, members said seniors should get regular flu shots.

Huntington, NY: Wendy Gonzalez, RN, prepares for a flu shot at Huntington Village Pediatrics, in Huntington, New York on December 8, 2021.

Huntington, NY: Wendy Gonzalez, RN, prepares for a flu shot at Huntington Village Pediatrics, in Huntington, New York on December 8, 2021.
(Photo by Steve Pfost / Newsday RM via Getty Images)

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“These flu vaccines are better, but are not yet the home course we would love to have,” said panelist Dr. Helen Keipp Talbot from Vanderbilt University.

The panel’s recommendations are usually taken over by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but this would be the first time the government has stated a flu vaccine preference for this age group.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee, left, receives a flu shot from Cenetra Pickens, a nurse at Kaiser Permanente, on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee, left, receives a flu shot from Cenetra Pickens, a nurse at Kaiser Permanente, on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.
(AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)

CDC officials reported that last winter the flu vaccine was only 35% effective in preventing flu symptoms that were severe enough to require medical attention.

While influenza viruses are detected year-round in the United States. Influenza viruses are most common during the fall and winter.

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Activity often begins to increase in October.

The agency said all six months and older should receive an annual flu vaccine.

FILE - On this Thursday, January 23, 2020, file image, a patient receives a flu vaccine in Mesquite, Texas.

FILE – On this Thursday, January 23, 2020, file image, a patient receives a flu vaccine in Mesquite, Texas.
(AP Photo / LM Otero, fil)

People 65 and older are at greater risk of developing flu complications.

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It is estimated that in recent years, between 70% and 85% of seasonal influenza-related deaths have occurred in those aged 65 and over.

Between 50% and 70% of seasonal influenza-related hospitalizations have occurred among individuals in this age group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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