With flu season upon us, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced county health departments will offer flu vaccine statewide beginning Oct. 2.
Flu vaccination is recommended each year for everyone 6 months of age and older. When more people are vaccinated against the flu, there is less opportunity for flu to spread in families, schools and communities. Cases of influenza hospitalizations have already been reported for this season.
“We are especially encouraging those in the age group of 18-64 to get their flu vaccination,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. “During the 2016-17 flu season, there were 715 hospitalizations and 28 deaths among this age group.”
In addition to getting a flu vaccination, people 65 years of age and older, and those with chronic health conditions, should ask their health care provider about being vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a common and potentially serious complication of the flu. Unlike the influenza vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine does not need to be given every year. This vaccine is also available at county health departments.
County health departments will accept SoonerCare, Medicare, all private health insurance, cash, checks, or credit cards as payment for flu vaccine. The following fee schedule will apply:
- All individuals with health insurance should bring their card. Their insurance company will be billed for the vaccine and an administration fee.
- Children 18 years of age and younger who have no health insurance, whose health insurance does not cover flu vaccine, who are eligible for SoonerCare or are Native American or Alaskan natives may receive their vaccine at no charge through the Vaccine for Children Program.
- All others will be charged a fee of $25 to cover the cost of the flu vaccine and the cost of administering the vaccine.
For more information, call a local county health department or visit the OSDH website at www.health.ok.gov.
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