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Oklahoma Health Department Offering Flu Shots Statewide

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File photo. File photo.

Oklahoma health officials are offering flu shots at county health departments throughout the state starting Monday.

The state Department of Health says getting vaccinated against the flu is the single best way to prevent it.

"The overall evidence supports the benefit of flu vaccination," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. "Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu. An annual seasonal flu vaccination is the best way to reduce the chances you will get the flu and that you will spread flu to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, there is less opportunity for flu to spread throughout the community."

Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. Pregnant women, children younger than 5 and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease or other chronic conditions are encouraged to get the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that from 2005 through 2011, flu vaccinations prevented an estimated 13.6 million cases of influenza, an estimated 5.8 million medical visits and about 113,000 flu-related hospitalizations.

State officials say county health departments will have the following types of flu vaccine available:

  • Traditional three-strain injectable flu vaccine
  • Quadrivalent (four-strain) injectable flu vaccine
  • Nasal spray flu vaccine for people ages 2 through 49 years who are not at high risk of complications from flu and who are not pregnant
  • High-dose three-strain injectable flu vaccine for persons age 65 years and older

County health departments will accept cash, checks or credit cards for payment according to the following fee schedule: 

  • No charge for families whose income is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • No charge for adults 65 years of age and older. Medicare will be billed for the vaccine and the administration fee. Adults 65 and older should bring their Medicare Card.
  • No charge for children who have no health insurance or whose insurance does not cover vaccines, are on SoonerCare or are Native American or Alaska natives.
  • No cost for anyone 6 months through 64 years of age with Health Choice Insurance. (Please bring your insurance information.)
  • Children and adults with health insurance that covers vaccines and those with incomes above 185 percent of the poverty level will be charged a fee of $25.00 to cover the cost of the flu vaccine and the cost of administering the vaccine.

For more information about flu vaccines visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health's website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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