We are pleased to announce a new service: adult immunizations. As opposed to last year (when we offered cash-only flu vaccines), we can now get them covered by patients with insurance (as long as the insurance company cooperates). At the present time we have:
- Flu shots (with 4 strains of virus)
- High-dose flu shots (for adults over 65)
- Zostavax (shingles vaccine) - for people 50+
- Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (adds whooping cough protection)
- Pneumovax (protects against a bacteria that causes a serious pneumonia and meningitis).
In the office we will check your insurance and see if it covers the vaccine. If it does, the company which has enabled us to do this (VaxCare) will file insurance and collect payment. They will also notify us if there is an additional amount to bill after insurance. For those without insurance (or with insurance which does not cover adequately), we can collect a discounted cash-pay price. The prices are:
- Flu - $20
- High-dose Flu - $30
- Zostavax - $170
- Td - Tetanus/Diphtheria - $20
- Tdap - Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis - $35
- Pneumovax - $75
Who should Get Vaccinated?
Are you a candidate for these immunizations? Here are the criteria for giving these vaccines:
- Flu - Anyone can get it (if they want to avoid getting sick), but certain high-risk people are especially protected:
- eople over age 65 (who should get the high-dose vaccine)
- People with asthma, COPD, or other chronic lung conditions
- People with significant heart, neurologic, or kidney conditions
- People who are immunosuppressed (via medication or disease)
- Pregnant women
- Children between 6 months and 4 years of age (see below for discussion of childhood vaccines)
- Health care workers
- neumovax - is a 1-time vaccine recommended for high-risk adults as described above. The only exception to this is an adult over 65 who had a pneumovax before age 65, who should get a repeat immunization (as long as it has been more than 7 years since the first one). There is a childhood version of pneumovax (Prevnar), which also reduces risk of pneumonia and meningitis in children, but we do not offer that yet.
- Tetanus - Adults who should get at least a Td every 10 years. People with "dirty" wounds for whom tetanus vaccine status is unsure should also get vaccinated. Because pertussis (whooping cough) immunity has dropped and the disease has become more of a problem, Tdap is recommended in:
- dults who have not gotten the pertussis vaccine.
- Women who are pregnant (during each pregnancy)
- ostavax - this vaccine may not make lengthen your life, but avoiding an shingles outbreak can significantly improve your quality of life. The big problem with this vaccine is that it may not be covered by insurance and is expensive. The good news is that we can check your insurance coverage and you can make weigh the cost versus the benefit.
What about Children?
We are able to give influenza shots to children, but insurance may be tricky for this. We are working with VaxCare to get the full array of immunizations for children without requiring parents to pay up front and file their own insurance. Additionally, those without insurance to cover vaccines are likely eligible for the Vaccines for Children program to cover the vaccine. We hope to allow all of these services for our patients by the end of the year. In the mean-time, we do recommend you keep your children up to date by going to the local health department.
What do I need to do?
If you are one of our patients, let us know by emailing us (firstname.lastname@example.org), sending a Twistle message, or calling the office. If you aren't one of our patients and want to be (and live in our area), sign up here.