People 65 years and older can get any injectable vaccine (flu shot) that is approved for use in that age group, but the “high dose vaccine” is designed specifically for people 65 and older. It contains 4 times as much antigen as the regular flu shot. It is produces a stronger immune response following vaccination, meaning it results in more antibodies. A number of local clinics have run out of high dose flu vaccine, but you can still get it at First District. See our flu page or contact your local office for an appointment.
Flu is beginning to circulate in North Dakota, and will likely continue for months. It's important for everyone to be vaccinated, but it's especially important for those 65 and older. It has been recognized for many years that people in this age group are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu compared with young, healthy adults because human immune defenses become weaker with age. While flu seasons can vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease. In recent years, for example, it’s estimated that between 71 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. The high dose vaccine has been approved for use in the United States since 2009. Medicare covers high dose flu vaccine.