Group Health infectious disease experts have officially declared that influenza season has ended. However, the 2012-13 flu vaccine is still available at all Group Health Medical Centers locations. You can also request a flu vaccine during a regular appointment or pharmacy and lab visit.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends immunization for everyone 6 months and older as soon as the vaccine is available. Flu vaccination is especially important for children, pregnant women, adults over the age of 50, and those with chronic conditions.
No Charge for Members; Fee for Public
Flu vaccine is covered as an in-network preventive service for all Group Health members.
The price for fee-for-service patients or non-Group Health members age 19 and older is $33 for injectable vaccine and $44 for FluMist, the intranasal vaccine. Washington State supplies vaccine for persons under age 19. Flu vaccination for a child eligible for Medicaid's Vaccines For Children (VFC) program is $6; for a non-VFC child the cost is $15.60.
Finding Other Locations
If you don't have a Group Health clinic in your area, ask your doctor where to get your flu vaccine. Also, you can get your vaccine at retail stores, pharmacies, or various community locations offering flu vaccinations. If you don't go to a Group Health facility, you may need to pay for the vaccination and submit a claim for reimbursement (PDF).
The pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic continues in Washington state. Teenagers and adults should have a Tdap booster once in their lifetime. You can get both Tdap and the flu vaccine in the same visit.
The Consulting Nurse Service is available around the clock to Group Health members who have medical questions or concerns.