To investigate the effects of age and antigen dose (10,20,60 μg) on the immunoglobulin (sub)class distribution following influenza vaccination, antibody responses in 79 elderly nursing home residents were compared with the responses in 100 young subjects. At a 10 μg dose the IgM, IgG3 and IgA1 responses were comparable in both age groups, whereas the IgG, IgG1 and haemagglutination inhibition (HI) responses were twofold lower in the elderly. A 20 μg dose increased the IgG, IgG1 and HI levels in the elderly to the levels in the young and the IgA1 to significantly higher levels. A 60 μg dose increased antibody levels in the young, but did not further increase the response in the elderly. The 20 μg dose might represent a higher level of protection in the elderly.