05 October 2008

Boomer Health: Flu Shots

Flu vaccine via nasal spray (Flu-Mist) or traditional needle is widely available now. The CDC's official campaign is still a couple of months away but for many of us October is the well-formed habit. Get the vaccine early while it's easy to find. Too, it may take two weeks to become effective so an October inoculation puts you well ahead of the first outbreak.

I'm shopping around for the first time in years, having lost Tom Bold's corporate gift (free shots for employees and spouses) and my campus connection ($20 in the years that I didn't get to Tom's workplace in a timely manner). What I barely noticed at grocery stores in the past—"flu clinic in our pharmacy today"—now looms quite large. And improved. At many groceries and drugstores, the occasional flu vaccine clinic has turned into more frequent and even daily access.

Nearly all the states permit pharmacists to administer the vaccine, now, and so scheduling becomes a matter of making sure the appropriate pharmacist is on duty the day you want the shot. In addition, some pharmacies now have medical clinics on site, typically staffed by Nurse Practitioners. Flu shots, immunizations, strep throat tests, etc., are available on a walk-in basis. Most will file Medicare for you and some will take other insurance, too.

Here's my quick list of flu shot outlets around my town in Texas:

  • CVS Pharmacy - $30 (Some stores also offer medical services through Minute Clinic, staffed by Nurse Practitioners)
  • Tom Thumb - $28 with a discount for 10% off other purchases, too
  • Walgreens - $25 - $30 (with Take Care Health Clinics in many cities but not in my area)
  • Wal-Mart (Some stores also have walk-in Clinic at Wal-Mart and also RediClinic, staffed by Nurse Practitioners)
  • Denton and Tarrant County Public Health Departments - $20 (waived for seniors)

These online locators may save a little time in researching vaccine availability in your area:

American Lung Association Flu Clinic Locator
Flu Shot Locator by Maxim Health Systems

On a personal note: I'm opting for a Minute Clinic in a CVS. Just because I want to preview the place as a potential source of walk-in health care. ~ Lida

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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