The findings of a Veterans Affairs study shows the high dose version of a flu vaccine may be more effective than a standard vaccine for those 85 years or older.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says either vaccine is appropriate for this age group.

But is the high-dose version really more effective for older folks? A new Veterans Affairs study says yes, but only for the “oldest old”: those 85 or older. For those between ages 65 and 84, the standard vaccine seems to work just as well. The findings appeared online March 31 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study included more than 165,000 VA patients who got either the regular or high-dose vaccine during the 2010 – 2011 flu season. The study tracked hospitalizations and deaths — indicators of the flu’s more severe impacts.

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