Seniors Dont Skip Your Flu Shot This Season
The process of developing a COVID-19 vaccine continues at a fast pace. Meanwhile, theres another immunization that can go a long way toward keeping you healthy and safe this fall and winter, especially if youre age 65 or older.
Its the flu shot, and while it wont protect you from novel coronavirus, it could still save your life. And its more important than ever to get one in the middle of a pandemic. Heres why you should give it a shot by the end of October and how to do it.
Franklin County Public Health Immunization Clinic
Offers vaccine clinics and information on vaccines for children and adults. Vaccines are available at a low cost for children, and no one will be turned away due to an inability to pay. Visit the website for their clinic schedule and list of clinics that offer travel vaccines. Appointments are required.280 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215 525-3719
The Benefits Of Flu Shots For Pregnant Women And Their Children
The good news is theres a lot you can do to prevent these negative outcomes starting with vaccination. The CDC recommends almost everyone 6 months or older, pregnant women included, get vaccinated this year. Its the most important step you can take against this potentially serious illness.
In one recent study, pregnant women who got flu shots developed half as many respiratory infections as those who didnt. Another found getting a flu shot reduced pregnant womens risk for hospitalization from the flu by 40%.
Within about two weeks of getting a flu shot, your body begins producing antibodies against the flu, which you can pass along to your baby. Thats critical because in the first few months of life, your child is too young to get vaccinated.
These antibodies can also pass to your baby through breastfeeding. So, even if you dont get a flu shot before giving birth, its a good idea to get one afterward. Anyone else involved in taking care of you and your baby should also get vaccinated.
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Does Medicaid Cover Flu Shots At Pharmacies
Flu shots are often delivered in clinical settings, such as doctors offices and nursing homes. You arent limited to just these settings, however. As a rule, Medicaid can pay for flu shots delivered in any location, as long as the provider has an authorized Medicaid billing number. This allows the provider to file an invoice for payment later. Medicaid policies vary between states, so its a good idea to check with a local Medicaid worker before getting your flu shot.
Shop Around For Health Insurance
Shopping for a new health plan is just as important as looking for a new home or car. You wouldnt make a major purchase without considering the pros and cons, your needs, pricing and overall value. Although Oscar Health plans have garnered positive reviews, there are hundreds of other insurance plans on the market, all competing for your business. Talk to family members and friends about their plans and narrow your list down to a few top contenders.
Choosing a new health insurance plan will impact your health and well-being for years to come, so take extra time to decide. Visit healthcare.gov to learn more about insurance options.
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Who Shouldnt Wear A Face Covering
The great majority of people should be wearing masks in public settings. However, according to the CDC, face coverings should not be worn by:
Anyone who has trouble breathing
Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance
Children younger than 2
Fcph Provides Covid Vaccination Update
As of Nov. 29, 12,322 individuals in Fayette County have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 11,409 have completed vaccination. Additional doses have been given to 2,858 individuals.
Vaccination started: Fayette County 45% Ohio 61%
Vaccination completed: Fayette County 41% Ohio 56%
Vaccination reduces hospitalizations and deaths and it also helps reduce the spread of virus in communities. Fayette County Public Health is offering several late clinics in November and December. Booster doses and pediatric doses are offered at the clinics. Call 740-335-5910 or visit faycohd.org/events for details.
Hospitalizations and Deaths
Since Jan. 1, 2021, there have been 38,784 hospitalizations for COVID-19 of individuals who were not fully vaccinated, and 2,171 hospitalizations for fully vaccinated individuals. There have been 12,005 deaths of individuals who were not fully vaccinated, and 564 deaths of individuals who were fully vaccinated.
Fayette County continues to experience high levels of community transmission of COVID-19.
In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that everyone wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of Delta and protect others.
Johnson & Johnson Dec. 1, 9 a.m. 4 p.m.
Pfizer/Comirnaty Dec. 3 9 a.m. 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m. 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. 7p.m.
Who is Eligible:
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Other Important Precautions To Take This Flu Season
While the flu shot stands as the best way to avoid getting sick with influenza, theres a lot more you can do to stay healthy this flu season. Fortunately, many of the same steps that protect you from the flu also reduce your risk of getting COVID-19.
These measures include the following:
Avoid people who are sick.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and cover your mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering in public.
Dont touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
Try to maintain 6 feet of physical distance between you and others who arent in your household.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, making sure to lather for a full 20 seconds. If soap and water arent available, you can use sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Its also important to take care of your overall health and manage any other medical conditions. Continue to follow your doctors advice and treatment plan for illnesses like heart disease, diabetes or asthma. Have at least a 30-day supply of medications, and dont stop taking them without talking to your doctor.
Dont delay getting other medical care because of the pandemic. Your doctor can also advise on the best way to keep tabs on your health. In some cases, telehealth or virtual doctor visits can replace in-person ones.
What Parts Of Medicare Cover The Shingles Vaccine
- Medicare Part C. Medicare Advantage is a plan you can buy through a private insurance company. It may offer additional benefits not covered by original Medicare, including some preventive services. Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, which would cover the shingles vaccine.
- Medicare Part D. This is the prescription drug coverage portion of Medicare and typically covers commercially available vaccines. Medicare requires Part D plans to cover the shingles shot, but the amount it covers can be very different from plan to plan.
Making Sure Youre covered
There are a few steps you can take to make sure your shingles vaccine is covered if you have Medicare Advantage with drug coverage or Medicare Part D:
- If your doctor cant bill your plan directly, ask your doctor to coordinate with an in-network pharmacy. The pharmacy might be able to give you the vaccine and bill your plan directly.
- File your vaccine bill for reimbursement with your plan if you cant do either of the options above.
If you have to file for reimbursement, youll have to pay the full price of the shot when you get it. Your plan should reimburse you, but the amount covered will vary based on your plan and if the pharmacy was in your network.
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Nationwide Childrens Hospital Care Connection
Provide additional access to health care at your childs school. The services provided are not meant to replace your pediatrician or family doctor. Care Connection programs include: Pediatric Services, Mental Health Counseling Services, Mobile Care Center, School-Based Asthma Therapy and Wheelchair Clinic. Visit the website for the list of participating schools and additional contact information.
- Pediatric Services: 355-2590 or contact your school nurse
- Mental Health Counseling Services: Contact Nationwide Childrens Behavioral Health Intake Department at 355-8080 or contact your school counselor or school social worker to schedule an appointment
- Mobile Care Center: 722-6208
- School-Based Asthma: 355-5495 or contact your school nurse
- Wheelchair Clinic: 722-5810
Getting Your Flu Shot Is Essential As Covid
Its official: The flu shot is more important than ever this flu season with COVID-19 still on the scene.
The flu vaccine is the best way to protect your family against the flu, which can be dangerous and life-threatening. Its the most effective thing you can do to prevent getting the flu or reduce the severity of symptoms if you do catch it.
Heres what you should know about how, when and why to get your flu shot.
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The Flu Vaccine Is Safe And Effective
The flu shot is the single most important thing you can do to prevent getting influenza. It lowers your chances of catching the virus and reduces your odds of having severe symptoms if you do come down with it.
The flu vaccine is safe and effective. Research reviewed by the CDC shows that the flu shot prevents the following outcomes in the United States every year:
1.6 to 6.7 million illnesses
790,000 to 3.1 million outpatient medical visits
39,000 to 87,000 hospitalizations
3,000 to 10,000 deaths
There are many different influenza viruses, and they are always changing. The CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reviews research every year to determine the three or four flu viruses that are expected to be the most common in the next flu season. Vaccine manufacturers update the flu shot ingredients accordingly to provide you with the best possible protection against the expected flu strains.
Flu vaccines in the United States typically protect against four different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Some vaccines protect against three different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and one influenza B virus.
The flu shot reduces the risk of flu by 40% to 60% during flu seasons when it is well matched to the predicted viruses that circulate. Thats a substantial risk reduction thats well worth your time.
Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine
All individuals over 6 months of age should get an annual flu shot, with rare exceptions. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has approved different types of flu vaccines for this years flu season:
Flu shot given by needle, usually in the upper arm
Quadrivalent vaccine protects against four influenza viruses for broader protection
Recombinant flu vaccine contains no egg ingredients
Cell-based flu vaccine manufactured in cultured cells rather than in eggs
If you have questions about which format is right for you or your loved ones, talk to your doctor.
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How Is Meningitis Treated
Most cases of viral meningitis end within 7 to 10 days. Some people might need to be treated in the hospital, although kids usually can recover at home if they’re not too ill. Treatment to ease symptoms includes rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medicine.
If bacterial meningitis is diagnosed or even suspected doctors will start intravenous antibiotics as soon as possible. Fluids may be given to replace those lost to fever, sweating, vomiting, and poor appetite.
Why Is The Flu Vaccine Recommended
While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it still greatly reduces a person’s chances of catching the flu, which can be very serious. It also can make symptoms less severe if someone does still get the flu after immunization.
Even if you or your kids got the flu vaccine last year, that won’t protect you this year, because flu viruses change. That’s why the vaccine is updated each year to include the most current types of the virus.
Sometimes the same types are included in the vaccine one year after the next. Even then, it’s still important to get the yearly flu vaccine because the body’s immunity against the influenza virus declines over time.
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Private Insurance Vaccine Coverage
All Health Insurance Marketplaceexternal icon plans and most other private insurance plans must cover the following list of vaccines without charging a copayment or coinsurance when provided by an in-network provider. This is true even for patients who have not met a yearly deductible. Doses, recommended ages, and recommended populations for these vaccines vary:
A new recommendation for serogroup B meningococcal vaccination of those age 16 through 23 years was published in the MMWR dated October 23, 2015. Health plans are required to cover new vaccine recommendations without cost-sharing in the next plan year that occurs one year after this date. Patients should check with their insurance provider for details on whether there is any cost to them for this vaccine.
- Hepatitis A
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis
Check with your patients insurance provider for details of coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans that cover children now allow parents to add or keep adult children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.
Does Medicaid Cover Vaccines For Adults
In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends 13 vaccines for adults:
Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis
Measles, mumps, rubella
Meningococcal A, C, W, Y
Haemophilus influenzae type B
Under Medicaid, coverage for these vaccines, and others, depends on the policies of the state you live in. A recent study found that 22 out of 51 state Medicaid programs covered all 13 recommended vaccines.
For those who live outside of those states, there may be free and low-cost vaccine options that can help. Or, if you have coverage but the cost is still too high, a coupon, like those available from GoodRx, may help you save money.
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Vaccines For Children Program
Under the VFC program, the Center for Disease Control purchases vaccines at a discount and distributes them to grantees, such as state health departments and certain local and territorial public health agencies. These grantees distribute the vaccines at no charge to private physicians’ offices and public health clinics that are registered as VFC providers. Because the federal government pays for the vaccine, providers are not paid for the cost of the vaccine product. Instead, they are paid an administration fee for the costs that the provider incurs in administering the vaccine. For children enrolled in Medicaid, the Medicaid program pays the vaccine administration fee. For uninsured and underinsured children enrolled in VFC, the parents are billed for the administration fee. The administration fee varies by state.
For additional information regarding vaccines for children, visit the CDC Vaccines for Children.
How Medicaid Works
Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that delivers basic health insurance to citizens with limited income and assets, as well as to pregnant women, children and other categorically eligible people. The program is administered on a federal level by the Department of Health and Human Services, which sets guidelines for eligibility and coverage levels.
Each state has a wide latitude for implementing the program within its borders, with some services being required and other services listed as voluntary.
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What Else Can Help
To make spreading the flu less likely, everyone in your family should::
- Wash hands well and often with soap, especially after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and before eating or preparing food
- Never pick up used tissues.
- Never share cups and eating utensils.
- Stay home from work or school if they have the flu.
- Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, then put it in the trash.
- Cough or sneeze into their upper arm, not their hands, if a tissue isn’t handy.
Is The Flu Contagious
The flu is very contagious. People can spread it from a day before they feel sick until their symptoms are gone. This is about 1 week for adults, but it can be longer for young kids.
The flu usually happens in annual epidemics. An epidemic is when an illness spreads quickly and infects lots of people in an area at the same time. Some years the epidemic is more severe and widespread than others. An epidemic that spreads worldwide is called a pandemic. This is far less common. There were three influenza pandemics in the 20th century, and one so far in the 21st century, in 2009 with influenza A .
During the coronavirus pandemic, experts found that wearing masks can help protect the community from the spread of germs. They recommended that all children age 2 and up wear a mask when out in public or around people who don’t live with them. Wearing masks can also help stop the spread of flu.
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How Does A Face Covering Help
There is new evidence that supports cloth face coverings help prevent people who are already ill from spreading their germs to others. In the instance of COVID-19, if you have the virus and are asymptomatic, the mask can help stop the spread, and if you do not have the virus and are healthy, your mask can prevent you from catching the virus from someone else.
Why The Flu Shot Matters Even More This Year
Flu season this year will occur while COVID-19 is still circulating in communities. Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Getting sick with one of them could be dangerous getting both at the same time could be disastrous.
Continue to do your part to reduce the spread of coronavirus by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask in public settings and washing your hands frequently. These everyday preventive measures are also recommended for reducing the spread of flu in your community.
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Am I Eligible For Medicaid
You may qualify for Medicaid based on your state’s requirements, income and family size. Contact your state Medicaid office or visit your state Medicaid website to see if you qualify.
If you qualify for Medicaid, you can enroll anytime. Visit your states Medicaid website to apply.
Welcome Medi-Cal Rx members!
Starting Jan. 1, 2022, Medi-Cal Rx members prescriptions will be covered at all Walgreens pharmacies. Request a transfer online or in person at your nearest Walgreens pharmacy.
Don’t miss Medicaid Open Enrollment for Ohio, Sep. 24 – Dec. 29! If you qualify for Medicaid, you can enroll anytime. Visit Ohio Medicaid to apply.