Elderly people and subjects with underlying chronic diseases are at increased risk for influenza and related complications. Conventional influenza vaccines provide only limited protection in the elderly population. In order to enhance the immune response to influenza vaccines, several adjuvants have been evaluated. Among these, an oil in water adjuvant emulsion containing squalene, MF59, has been combined with subunit influenza antigens and tested in clinical trials in comparison with non-adjuvanted conventional vaccines. Data from a clinical database of over 10000 elderly subjects immunised with this adjuvanted vaccine (Fluad, Chiron Vaccines, Siena, Italy) demonstrate that, although common postimmunisation reactions are more frequent in recipients of the adjuvanted vaccine, this vaccine is well tolerated, also after re-immunisation in subsequent influenza seasons. Immunogenicity analyses demonstrate a consistently higher immune response with statistically significant increases of postimmunisation geometric mean titres, and of seroconversion and seroprotection rates compared to non-adjuvanted subunit and split influenza vaccines, particularly for the A/H3N2 and the B strains. The higher immunogenicity profile of the MF59-adjuvanted vaccine is maintained also after subsequent immunisations. An even higher adjuvant effect was shown in subjects with low pre-immunisation titre and in those affected by chronic underlying diseases. In conclusion, the addition of MF59 to subunit influenza vaccines enhances significantly the immune response in elderly subjects without causing clinically important changes in the safety profile of the influenza vaccine.