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Influenza Vaccine 2013: Flu Shots for Vegans, High-Dose Shot for the Elderly

First Posted: Oct 18, 2013 09:57 AM EDT

Getting the annual influenza vaccine this year need not be worrisome for vegans and the elderly this year, as new formulations have been developed for people with egg allergies and for the elderly, according to the Las Vegas Guardian Express.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that every single individual in the United States must get their annual flu shot. However, unknown to many, people who are allergic to eggs may be risking their health more  with the traditional influenza vaccine, as the shot is developed using different strains of the influenza virus, grown inside fertilized eggs. Thankfully, there is a new vaccine formulation especially designed for people allergic to eggs.

The egg-less vaccine is named 'Flublok,' and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January this year. It is manufactured by the Protein Sciences Corporation and is intended for administration to patients aged 18-49 years old, according to the CDC.  Flublok is safe for vegans and for people allergic to eggs because it contains only hemagglutinin protein, a compound isolated from the virus.

Meanwhile, elderly patients keen to get their flu shot are recommended to get the high-dose formulation, as a recent study that examined a group of 205 seniors revealed that flu shots in higher doses have a better effect on seniors, according to the Weather Channel. The study was made by the University of Pittsburgh, and researchers concluded that influenza cases in care facilities and nursing homes may be largely prevented with high-dose formulations instead of the standard vaccine. Elderly people are highly susceptible to the flu, and most flu deaths (90%) are comprised of patients 65 years old and above.

With the availability of news formulations and new dosing of the influenza vaccine, there's no excuse left not to get vaccinated, and to make sure one is staying healthy with preventative care.

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