Nelda Jackson knew it was about time to get her annual flu shot.
So this past week, she and her husband Jerry Jackson headed to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department to get their annual flu shots.
The couple chose to get the high-dose flu shot, recommended for adults older than 65 who would like added protection against the contagious respiratory illness.
The Jacksons get their flu shots every year, and this year's shot wasn't any more painful.
“That was the easiest one I've ever had,” Nelda Jackson said.
Most county health departments have the high-dose flu shot available.
Autumn Peck, of Oklahoma City, brought her sons Liam, 3, and Aleci, 2, into the Oklahoma City-County Health Department this past week for the nasal spray flu vaccine and got her flu shot as well.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department offers a few options of flu shots for various ages, including a regular flu shot for anyone older than 6 months old; a nasal spray for ages 2 through 49; an intradermal flu shots with a smaller needle for ages 18 through 64; and a high-dose vaccination for adults 65 or older.
Flu shots are also generally available from primary care doctors along with some pharmacies, employers and schools.
Peck, an emergency medical technician and student, said there are a lot of illnesses that can be prevented by taking the proper precautions.
“Being in day care, I know there are a lot of kids that are going to come up that are just sick,” Peck said. “I'm in school, and I go to work, and I can't afford to miss either one, so it's pretty important that we protect them from that.”
The needle used in the intradermal flu shot is 90 percent smaller than the needle used in a regular flu shot, according to the state Health Department.
Anyone older than six months old is recommended to get a flu shot. Public health officials encourage pregnant women or people who suffer from asthma, diabetes, chronic heart, lung disease or other chronic conditions to get the vaccine.
At local health departments, children and adults with health insurance that covers vaccines and also people who make above 185 percent of the poverty level will be charged $25 for flu vaccine. People who have an income less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level, are 65 years or older or who are enrolled in the Oklahoma Public Employees Health and Welfare insurance plans who present their insurance cards will not be charged.
Also, there isn't a charge for the shot for children whose insurance doesn't cover vaccines or for children without health insurance. Also, children on SoonerCare or who are American Indians or Alaskan natives won't be charged either.