More on the Seasonal Flu and Its Vaccine

I had too much information yesterday to actually fit it all into a reasonably-sized article yesterday, so I’ll share a couple of extra tidbits here.

  • Cost: Around here, the flu vaccine will cost around $25-$30. Your insurance company may pay for part, all or none of it. Sometimes you just need to provide your insurance card. Jason Turner at GuidePoint said Medicare patients have the easiest time of anyone.
  • Businesses or Groups: The two local clinics (Sanford for sure, and I believe the Avera one too) have actually gone to several large businesses or big apartment buildings to vaccinate big groups of people. It’s not quite making house calls, but it’s pretty close. Call the clinics to ask them about it; I have no idea if there’s an associated cost or how much that cost would be.
  • Shot Clinic: Avera Worthington Specialty Clinics will have a shot clinic from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday night. Adults can just walk in, but pediatric patients should make an appointment. They’ll have a second clinic later if their supplies hold out. I’m not sure if Sanford has shot clinics too, but people at both clinics are super nice and would love to answer any questions you have.
  • Wash Those Hands: The medical professionals I talked to all emphasized hand-washing as another critical factor in fighting the flu. I did mention this in the article but decided to focus my writing on the vaccine, which took up 27 inches all by itself.
  • Misinformation: There’s a lot of misinformation out there, especially online, about the seasonal flu. Some are conflating it with the H1N1 flu variant, and others are getting into conspiracy theories about both the flu and its vaccine. Be careful what you believe and stick to reliable sources. The CDC, for example, has a lot of information on the flu for both ordinary people and medical professionals. Here’s the CDC’s section on flu vaccinations, for example. It would be very easy to get lost in the CDC’s site for hours, given how much excellent information it has.

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