Quadrupled flu shot serves seniors better, researchers say

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Giving seniors four times the usual dose of flu vaccine could give them twice as much protection from the bug, say researchers in a report released Sunday. Recent research has debated the effects of standard flu doses administered to the elderly.

Each year, the flu leads to more than 35,000 deaths, most of them seniors, health officials say. But an investigation by Sanofi Pasteur, a major flu vaccine maker, could lower that number, researchers from the Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry said.

They tested nearly 4,000 individuals 65 or older and found that the bodies of those given four times the usual flu vaccine dose created twice as many antibodies as those without the megadose.  Despite study subjects' varied backgrounds and chronic conditions, all of them seemed to benefit, according to a published report. Study findings were discussed at a joint meeting of the American Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Society of America.