Can you afford the flu this year?
Depending on your healthcare coverage and how quickly you are diagnosed with flu, the cost to treat and recover from the virus can add up very quickly. Missing just a few days of work for most people is not an option, and can have serious financial implications. The good news is, PhysicianOne Urgent Care has no-cost* flu shots available throughout flu season. A flu shot can prevent the flu in most cases, and if you do still fall ill from flu after receiving the vaccine, the severity of the virus and symptoms are lessened. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the following costs and time away from work, school and life in general as a result of the flu:
Time Away From Work/School: 11-73 Hours
ER Visit: $300-$4,000
In addition to prescriptions that treat flu-related complications, a visit to the Emergency Room can leave you with any number of unwanted bills.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine for all people age 6 months and older**. Getting your child vaccinated can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, missed work and school days, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths in children. If you have questions about the flu shot and your child, please visit our vaccine page here.
High Risk Populations
It is especially important that those at risk for flu related complications receive the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies the following populations as high-risk for flu related complications:
– Children younger than 5 years of age, but especially children ages 7 months – 2 years of age
– Adults 65 years of age and older
– Pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum)
– Those with long-term health conditions including; asthma, chronic lung disease (COPD or cystic fibrosis), blood disorders, heart disease and those with a weakened immune system due to disease (HIV or AIDS) or medication (cancer or those on chronic steroids
The best way to protect yourself from missing out on the life you love – and let’s face it, the things we don’t love but really can’t miss like exam week and work presentations – is to get a flu vaccine at the start of every flu season. While you can contract the flu at any time during the year, the flu season is classified as October – March, when the most cases of flu are reported.
Questions About the Flu Shot? We Have Answers!
Is the flu shot safe?
Yes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone over the age of 6 months** receive a flu vaccine at the start of each flu season.
When does flu season start?
We see cases of flu all year long, but the flu “season” starts when cases begin to increase, typically by November and lasting through March.
When should I get vaccinated?
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated in the fall, before the end of October. It can take up to two weeks for the antibodies in the vaccine to develop to protect the body from flu, so it is a good idea to get vaccinated early.
CanI get the flu from the vaccine?
No. Most people do not have any side effects from the flu vaccine, but on occasion some may experience mild side effects like a sore arm where the shot was administered, or a low grade fever. These side effects are not symptoms of the flu, and the flu vaccine does not cause the flu. It can take up to two weeks before the antibodies in the vaccine build up to protect you from the flu. If you have been exposed to the flu virus before the vaccine can take effect, you may fall ill with flu. This is why it is so important to make sure you are vaccinated early!
I am allergic to eggs – can I still get the flu vaccine?
If you have an allergy to eggs, it is best to consult your allergist and/or Primary Care Provider before getting vaccinated. However, the CDC does note that those who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg can get “any licensed flu vaccine that is other wise appropriate for their age and health”. You can reference the full CDC information on vaccines and egg allergies here.
Don’t Let the Flu School You!
Stay up-to-date on the latest health news for the 2017-2018 flu season. Do you know the best time of year to get a flu shot? And what is the deal with those preservatives in the flu shot everyone talks about? What about the difference between cold and flu symptoms? Don’t worry, PhysicianOne Urgent Care FLUniversity has got you covered. We’ll inform you when flu spikes in your area, and send periodic tips on how you and your loved ones can stay healthy and flu free. Get schooled in flu prevention and treatment before the flu schools you.
*Patients with private insurance will have their flu vaccine billed through their insurance, and there will be no co-pay unless otherwise required by their plan. The cost for a flu shot for uninsured patients is $25. Medicaid (including Husky and CT, NY, and MA state) patients under 19 years of age cannot receive a flu vaccination at PhysicianOne Urgent Care. Please call 1.855.349.2828 with any specific questions.
**In Connecticut, PhysicianOne Urgent Care will only administer the flu vaccine to privately insured patients five (5) years of age and older, due to laws related to the Connecticut Vaccine Program. In Massachusetts and New York, PhysicianOne Urgent Care will only administer the flu vaccine to children three (3) years of age and older.