Vaccines are available now
County health departments across Oklahoma have opened influenza vaccination clinics. Flu shots are recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. Pregnant women and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease and other chronic conditions are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. So are relatives of babies younger than 6 months and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for flu complications.
“Influenza ... can lead to hospitalization and even death,” said Dr. Terry Cline, state health commissioner, in a news release. “Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently.”
Most county health departments have a variety of vaccines. A nasal spray vaccine can be used by most people ages 2 to 49. Those ages 18 to 64 may get intradermal vaccines using needles 90 percent smaller than usual. And high-dose vaccinations are available for folks 65 and older.
Vaccines will be provided using this fee schedule:
No charge for families whose income is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level.
No charge for those ages 65 and older.
No charge for children who have no health insurance or are on SoonerCare or are American Indian or Alaska natives. Vaccines are free, as well, for children whose insurance doesn't cover vaccinations.
No charge for those enrolled in HealthChoice and the Oklahoma Public Employees Health and Welfare insurance plans. Bring your insurance cards.
$25 vaccinations are available for those whose health insurance covers vaccines and those with incomes above 185 percent of the poverty level. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted for payment.
Many county health departments also will provide pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines for those 65 or older and those with chronic health conditions. The flu can lead to pneumonia.
For more information, call your local health department or go to www.health.ok.gov.
COMPILED BY KEN RAYMOND, STAFF WRITER