New High-Dose Flu Vaccine for 2016

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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For the 2015 – 2016 flu season, there was only one type of high-dose flu shot available. However, next year a new high-dose vaccine, Fluad, will offer another option.

Isn’t one kind of high-dose vaccine enough? Not always. Later in flu season, you can still get vaccinated, but pharmacies may run out of the less common kinds of flu vaccine—like the nasal spray, small needle, or the high-dose shot. Another high-dose flu shot should help with availability for the 2016 – 2017 flu season.

Is there anything unique about Fluad?

Yes. Fluad is the 1st FDA approved flu vaccine that contains an adjuvant. Adjuvants are incorporated into some vaccines to help improve the immune response of the vaccinated individual. It is also a high-dose vaccine, which is recommended for anyone 65 and older. The only other high-dose flu shot currently available is Fluzone High-Dose.

Is Fluad currently available in other countries?

Yes. Fluad was approved in 1997 almost 20 years ago for use in Italy. Fluad is currently approved and available for use in 38 countries including Canada and 15 European countries.

Are there any similar vaccines for those 65 years of age and older?

Yes. Fluzone High-Dose (Fluzone HD) was the first flu vaccine specially formulated for people 65 and older. For more information on Fluzone HD, check out the official website here.

How is Fluad used?
Fluad is given by a health care professional—often by your pharmacist or at your doctor’s office—as a 0.5 mL intramuscular injection into the upper arm.

How will Fluad be available?
Fluad will be available in a pre-filled syringe each with a single 0.5 mL dose.

When was Fluad approved?
Fluad was approved by the FDA on November 24, 2015.

When will Fluad be available?
Fluad is expected to be available in time for the 2016 – 2017 flu season.

What are the side effects of Fluad?

The most common side effects of Fluad include injection site pain and tenderness, muscle aches, headache, and fatigue.

Want more information

See the press announcement from the FDA regarding Fluad here.

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