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Dev Comp Immunol. 1997 Nov-Dec;21(6):501-7.

Influenza vaccination in the elderly.

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Swiss Serum and Vaccine Institute Berne, Switzerland.


Influenza vaccination of elderly people has been shown to be useful. All vaccine types are well tolerated by higher age group vaccinees. Actually, whole virus vaccine, split virus vaccine and subunit vaccine are used in the vaccination of the elderly. Some studies have suggested that the induction of serum influenza antibody production was reduced in elderly persons when compared with that elicited in younger persons. However, investigations on the protective efficacy of influenza vaccination in the elderly have demonstrated a clinical protection of > or = 50% for preventing hospitalization. Live attenuated influenza vaccine conferred protection similar to that obtained with a conventional subunit vaccine. A virosomal unilamellar trivalent hemagglutinin vaccine showed promising serological results compared with those obtained with a whole cell vaccine and with a subunit vaccine, respectively. The actual policy is to vaccinate persons > or = 65 years of age and the groups that can transmit influenza to them. Each year's vaccine should contain three virus strains representing the influenza viruses that are likely to circulate in the upcoming winter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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