Do I Need High Dose Flu Vaccine?

As we age, our immune system wanes, reducing our ability to fight infection and increasing our likelihood of being hospitalized for the respiratory flu. High dose flu vaccine helps folks 65 and older fight the flu, but what does “high dose” mean, and how do I know if I should get it?

The high dose flu vaccine contains a higher dose of the component that stimulates the immune system, called the antigen, than the standard or “regular” flu vaccine. According to the Mayo Clinic, high dose flu vaccines help prevent flu-related hospitalizations and complications better than the “regular” dose vaccines in people over age 65.

The “regular” dose of flu vaccine accomplishes the same goal as the high dose, but uses less antigen. This is because the immune system in an individual from 6 months to 64 years is generally working well enough to fight the flu with less assistance from the flu shot.

The high dose flu shot is only approved for those 65 years or older, so when you visit a clinic to get your flu shot, you may (politely) be asked your age to determine which vaccine you should receive. Those who are not yet 65 cannot receive the high dose vaccine. Those who are 65 can choose to receive the “regular” vaccine, though the high dose is recommended.

The Richland County Health Department will be holding its annual drive-thru mass flu shot clinic at the Richland County Fire Hall in Sidney on Thursday, Sept 28, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The Drive-Thru Clinic will serve adults only, and offers both regular and high-dose flu shots. No other shots will be given during the clinic. No COVID-19 vaccine will be given. No appointment is needed. Flu shots cannot be given to those who have animals in their vehicles. Children may be in the vehicle, but may not receive flu shots. Private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid will be billed for those who bring their insurance cards. Follow traffic signs to enter the Fire Hall from the North side.

Flu shots are available for those 6 months and older at the Richland County Health Department during normal clinic hours by appointment, from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday - Wednesday. Additional clinic hours are the second Wednesday until 6 p.m., and the third Thursday of the month, from 10 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. by appointment. Check the department Facebook page at for changes to regular clinic hours.

For further information or to inquire about group billing, contact the Richland County Health Department at 406-433-2207.


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