Aging is associated with a decline in the normal function of the immune system, both cellular and humoral, which often leads to a state of 'immunosenescence'. It is necessary that we understand the fundamental cellular and molecular basis of immune senescence and immune responsiveness to prevent age-related diseases, such as viral and bacterial infections, in order to develop appropriate preventative and novel therapeutic measures. Vaccination has been a highly effective prophylactic in protecting vulnerable populations worldwide from many pathogens. Novel vaccine research to enhance protection against these diseases remains a global area of innovation and improvement. This review discusses the impact of immune senescence on the response to influenza vaccines, and the recent progress in translating the knowledge into developing effective influenza vaccines for the elderly to promote healthy aging.
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