Most of us simply can't afford to miss days or even weeks of work or school due to the flu, and if you wait until you feel the symptoms during flu season, it may just be too late. Therefore, it has become an important part of our annual illness prevention to get a flu shot. Here is information on flu shots in Oklahoma City, including details on the current year's vaccine, the cost, where to get one and more.
Why a Flu Vaccine
Oklahoma health officials recommend a flu vaccine annually for everyone over 6 months of age, particularly those in high risk groups such as children, adults over 50 and pregnant women. Why? Well, frankly it's because the flu is nasty business. Kristina Duda, About.com Expert on Cold & Flu, has a detailed breakdown of the virus. In it, she says symptoms include fever, body pain, exhaustion and severe headaches, and she adds, "People with the flu are typically unable to perform daily activities due to the illness." Though getting a vaccine each fall won't guarantee immunity to the flu, it's certainly your best bet.
Flu Vaccine Administration
We refer to them as "flu shots," but actually, there are three options when receiving a flu vaccine. There is, of course, the traditional shot, typically given in the thigh or upper arm, and many people can also choose the "Flu-Mist" nasal spray form.
In 2011, an intradermal vaccine was introduced. It utilizes a much smaller needle and is only injected into the skin.
2016-2017 Flu Vaccine
The 2016-2017 flu vaccine protects against three strains. Health officials note that even if you were vaccinated last year, you should be re-vaccinated because immunity decreases after eight to ten months.
Cost of Flu Shots
Previously, flu shots have been available in Oklahoma City at no charge; however, that came to an end in 2010 due to state budget issues. Today, the standard charge for a flu vaccine is $25, but fee waivers are available for some based on income, for those who are on SoonerCare (Medicaid), or for those who are on Medicare and do not belong to an HMO. Patients seeking a fee waiver must provide specific documentation to prove eligibility. For details, call (405) 427-8651.
Where to Get a Flu Shot in the Oklahoma City Area
The first and perhaps best place to get a flu shot is from your personal physician, as your doctor best knows you and your health status. In Oklahoma City, flu vaccines are also available at hospitals, pharmacies and clinics throughout the metro. See this online tool to find one near you. Also, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department offers flu shots at their main clinic (921 NE 23rd Street) beginning in October, or ask about special clinics in various locations during the fall