CDC’s ACIP Panel Backs Enhanced Flu Vaccine for Seniors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimously endorsed a group of “enhanced” influenza vaccines believed to provide better protection for older adults.

ACIP recommended that adults aged 65 and over preferentially receive a quadrivalent high-dose inactivated vaccine, a quadrivalent recombinant vaccine, or a quadrivalent adjuvanted inactivated vaccine over standard-dose, unadjuvanted inactivated influenza vaccines. The preference applies to Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Flublok Quadrivalent, and Fluad Quadrivalent flu vaccines. The recommendation has been adopted by the CDC and made official CDC policy and will be further detailed in an upcoming issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Recommendation Report.

Older adults are at increased risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from influenza, but the vaccines are frequently less effective in this population, CDC officials noted. “Given their increased risk of flu-associated severe illness, hospitalization, and death, it’s important to use these potentially more effective vaccines in people 65 years and older,” said José R. Romero, MD, Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.