Beginning Wednesday, the Sequoyah County Health Department will begin offering influenza vaccinations again. The department had run out of the vaccine, but it has been replenished and the vaccinations are now available. The county health department is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is located at 612 N. Oak St. in Sallisaw.
The state health department said everyone is at risk for influenza and the flu vaccination is recommended for anyone age 6 months of age or older. The vaccinations are especially important for people at high risk for serious illness from the flu, including pregnant women, children younger than age 5, and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease and other chronic conditions. County health departments have the following types of flu vaccine available:
-The traditional flu shot protects against four strains of the flu.
-The nasal spray flu vaccine protects against four strains of flu, and is for healthy people who are not pregnant and for ages 2 to 49. Studies have shown this vaccine was more effective among younger children.
-The high-dose flu shot for persons age 65 and older protects against three flu strains.
County health departments accept SoonerCare, Medicare, all private health insurance, cash, checks or credit cards as payment for flu vaccine. There is no charge for families whose income is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level. However, if they have health insurance, they should bring their insurance card. The insurance company will be billed for the vaccine and an administration fee. There will be no charge for adults age 65 and older. Adults age 65 and older should bring their Medicare card or other health insurance card. There is no charge for children age 18 and younger who have no health insurance, show health insurance does not cover the flu vaccine, who are eligible for SoonerCare, or who are Native American or Alaskan natives. All others are charged a fee of $25 to cover the cost of the vaccine and administration costs. The pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine is also available. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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