Protecting your over 60s from the flu

Last year, Australia recorded one of its highest instances of influenza notifications in recent years (Figure 1).¹ Not only did influenza cases peak earlier in the season compared to the previous few years (Figure 1), one in five of those hospitalised were aged 65 or over.¹

Figure 1. Notifications of laboratory-confirmed Influenza in Australia
from 01 Jan 2017 to 09 Oct 20221

Adapted from Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No. 14, 2022.¹

Influenza can lead to serious consequences in older people, with complications such as cardiovascular events having the potential to result in disability and loss of independence.²

What makes influenza so dangerous for those over 60?

People over the age of 60 have a number of additional risk factors for morbidity and mortality related to influenza, including having multiple co-morbidities and an aging immune system.³ While vaccination can be highly efficacious in young adults, standard dose influenza vaccines can be less effective in older adults and provide shorter duration of protection.³ This puts those over 60 at risk.

To combat the declining immune response of older populations, higher immunogenicity vaccines have been developed.⁴

Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is available for adults 60 years and over. It provides 4-strain protection, including influenza A(H3N2), A(H1N1), B Victoria lineage and B Yamagata lineage and contains 4x the antigen of standard-dose* influenza vaccines.⁵ 

*Standard-dose unadjuvanted quadrivalent influenza vaccine. Standard dose influenza vaccines contain 15 μg of influenza virus HA per strain compared to 60 μg HA of each of the four strains in Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent.⁵

Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent is: More effective in preventing influenza than standard dose* vaccines in adults aged ≥65 years⁵

*Standard-dose unadjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine. 

*Standard dose unadjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine.

†Relative vaccine efficacy. The efficacy and effectiveness of Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine in patients aged ≥60 years can be inferred from that for high-dose trivalent vaccine in patients ≥65 years, given the demonstration of statistically comparable immunogenicity between both vaccines in both age groups.⁵

More effective in preventing influenza complications than standard dose* vaccine⁶⁻⁷

*Standard-dose unadjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine. 

Lee et al. 2018 is a systematic review and meta-analysis of 7 observational studies.⁶ Van Aalst et al. 2021 is a retrospective cohort study with approximately 700,000 patients.⁷ AMI: acute myocardial infarction. CVD: cardiovascular disease.

Comparable safety profile with high-dose trivalent influenza vaccine⁵

The most common reactions after Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent administration were:

The safety was assessed in a pooled analysis of two clinical trials in 2,549 adults aged 60+.⁵

Key takeaway

When a patient 60 years and over presents for their annual influenza vaccination, there is a high-dose option available that, with 60 μg of each strain, offers more protection against influenza and its complications than standard-dose unadjuvanted influenza vaccine, with only 15 μg of each strain.⁵⁻⁷

Read the full clinical update here.


    1. Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No. 14, 2022. Reporting fortnight: 26 September to 09 October 2022.
    2. McElhaney JE, et al. Immun Ageing 2020:17:10.
    3. Tanner AR, et al. Eur Respir Rev 2021;30:200258.
    4. Monto AS, et al. Vaccine 2009;27(37):5043-5053.
    5. Fluzone Product Information.
    6. Lee JKH, et al. Vaccine 2021;39 Suppl 1; A24-A35.
    7. van Aalst R, et al. Vaccine 2021;39 Suppl 1;A51-A55.
PBS Information: This product is not on the PBS or National Immunisation Program.

Please review full Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent Product Information before prescribing. Full Product Information is available on request from Sanofi on 1800 818 806 or online.

Scan the QR code to access full Product Information.

sanofi-aventis Australia pty ltd. ABN 31 008 558 807. Trading as SANOFI PASTEUR. 12-24 Talavera Rd, Macquarie Park NSW 2113. Customer Service Ph: 1800 829 468. MAT-AU-2300116. SAIN27807W. Date of preparation: March 2023.