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From Publication to Practice: An interdisciplinary look at new developments in the prevention and treatment of influenza in older adults

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This publication provides readers with information on how new advances in disease prevention, treatment, and management may improve elder care and quality of life. Influenza infects people of all ages, but the majority of the morbidity and mortality for seasonal influenza occurs in infants and individuals with underlying cardiopulmonary, renal, endocrine, or immune-compromising disease, people who use immune-compromising medications, and those of advanced age. All of these groups at high risk for complications also tend to have a slightly reduced immune response to vaccination.
Educational objectives: 

After reading this publication, the gerontologist will be able to do the following:

  • Identify new scientific evidence supporting licensing of the first high-dose flu vaccine for use in the aging population.
  • Describe the effectiveness of the immune response in elders.
  • Discuss what considerations clinicians should take into account to help older adults be receptive to new medications.
  • Recognize the medical implications of this new treatment option.
  • Describe public health implications of this new treatment option and consideration of immunization policies for long-term care centers and health care institutions.
  • Discuss the incidences of vaccine-preventable diseases in individuals ages 65 years and older.
  • Identify resources for current information on vaccine developments, including manufacturing processes of vaccine production, and highlight new advances in production technology.
Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

Immunization remains the best available method of protecting all age-groups from influenza. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, while reiterating their support for the recommendation that individuals 65 years and older be vaccinated annually against influenza, have noted the need for improvement in how elders are protected against the virus.

These materials were reviewed by a faculty panel.

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Date posted: 
Mon, 07/09/2012
Date Submitted or Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 
Mon, 07/09/2012
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:

Suggested Citation:
From Publication to Practice: An interdisciplinary look at new developments in the prevention and treatment of influenza in older adults. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2012 Available from:
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