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PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3) – Seasonal flu kills tens of thousands of people every year in the United States. Babies and the elderly are most at risk. Now there’s extra protection for seniors.
Arnold John Tomac works at a grocery store and is always around people. With the upcoming flu season approaching, he wants to protect himself and others.
“I get a shot every year,” said Arnold.
This year Arnold is getting the new flu shot called Fluzone High-Dose. It’s only for people over 65-years-old, and has four times the amount of immune stimulating proteins than the regular seasonal flu shot.
“People over age 65 have a declining function in their immune system,” said Dr. Melanie Mouzoon, an Immunization Specialist.
Because of that experts say the high dose is better than the regular.
“It’s not that the vaccine doesn’t work. It’s only about 50 to 70 percent effective in the elderly,” said Dr. Mouzoon.
Initial blood tests from people who have had the new shot show a better immune response.
As for the cost, Dr. Leslie Mysers, a Pharmacy Manager, said, “This particular vaccine is covered by Medicare part b just like the seasonal vaccine is covered every year.”
Arnold is happy he got his and no longer is concerned about the virus.
“I think it’s a good idea. I wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t,” said Arnold.
Some health departments in our area will be offering the new High-Dose vaccine, including Chester County in Pennsylvania, and Cape May County in New Jersey.
This year one shot protects against the common flu strains, including the swine flu.