Medical professionals recommend specific flu shots for elderly

Medical professionals say that there are different flu shots that are better suited for people at higher risk.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 9:12 AM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The beginning of fall also marks the beginning of flu season. Medical professionals are gearing up for a difficult flu season but they say there are special precautions for elderly people.

Alabama District of Public Health Medical Officer Dr. Wes Stubblefield says he’s bracing for an intense flu season. He says they can look to the southern hemisphere to gauge how bad the flu will be in our area. He says after reviewing the data, he believes the flu will be especially harmful this year.

“When you look at Australia, they had a pretty active flu season,” said Dr. Stubblefield. “We’re concerned that this year we might have a pretty active flu season so we’re concerned that this year we might have a pretty aggressive flu season and we’re very much encouraging people to get vaccinated now.”

This is on top of the removal of COVID-19 precautions, like wearing a mask, which helped keep the flu at bay.

“People are really not doing much of mitigation efforts anymore regardless of the fact that COVID is still around and we’re still having problems with it, it’s just not something that’s been on people’s minds,” explained Dr. Stubblefield.

This year, medical professionals want vulnerable people to be extra safe. They are recommending certain types of vaccines for people over 65 years old: Fluzone High-Dose, Flublok, and Fluad. According to the CDC, they have at least four times the antigen as standard dose flu vaccines, making them more effective at stopping the flu.

Dr. Stubblefield says you can ask your pharmacist or vaccine provider if these options are available.