Reinvigorating Influenza Prevention in US Adults Aged 65 Years and Older

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Abstract

Adults aged 65 years and older are disproportionately impacted by influenza, accounting for more influenza-related deaths and hospitalizations than any other age group by far. The increasing likelihood of chronic conditions with age and age-related gradual decline in the immune system (immunosenescence) result in an elevated risk of complications from infections, including influenza. Immunosenescence is also a factor in reduced vaccine efficacy in older adults. Newer vaccines approved specifically for adults aged 65 years and older are designed to provide better immune response and better efficacy. Improving immunization coverage rates among this population using new and existing influenza vaccines is essential to reduce the annual impact of influenza infections in the United States.

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