Recent Blog Articles
Adult female acne: Why it happens and the emotional toll
Talking to your doctor about your LGBTQ+ sex life
Untangling grief: Living beyond a great loss
Thunderstorm asthma: Bad weather, allergies, and asthma attacks
Heart problems and the heat: What to know and do
I’m too young to have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, right?
Period equity: What it is and why it matters
Back pain: Will treatment for the mind, body—or both—help?
Colon cancer screening decisions: What’s the best option and when?
Cognitive effects in midlife of long-term cannabis use
Diseases & Conditions
Does the flu vaccine work as well in elderly people?
Ask the doctors
Q. My mother is in her late 80s. She received the flu vaccine this year, but I heard that it won't be as effective because of her age. Is this true?
A. The flu vaccine can be less effective in elderly adults. That's because the flu vaccine works by priming the body's own immune system to mount a response to the virus if it's encountered. Older adults may have weaker immune systems, and therefore a weaker immune response to the vaccine.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!