Flu Shot: what you need to know
Degen Berglund pharmacists are ready to tackle the flu! For most patients, this vaccine is free through either prescription insurance or a Medicare part B (medical) plan. If a patient does not have insurance, the cash price is $31.80. We do not require an appointment before coming in, but if they do call us first we can prepare things for less waiting time. Vaccines are available at the Village and Onalaska locations.
Does it work?
The main problem with the flu shot is that we can’t be 100% sure which specific virus will cause problems each year. Vaccines take a while to make and there is no vaccine that attacks all “strains,” or types, of influenza viruses. This year four strains will be covered by the vaccine, but if a different strain is causing trouble you may have symptoms even after getting the shot. That being said, it is still recommended that most people who can get the vaccine should get the vaccine because influenza yearly causes thousands of deaths.
For some people, the flu shot can prevent influenza symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, high fever, tiredness) or make symptoms milder than they could have been. The vaccine protects pregnant women and their newborn babies (for at least a few months after use). For people with health conditions such as heart or lung disease, vaccination can decrease rates of things like heart attack, stroke, and hospitalization caused by the virus. The flu shot last for at least 6-8 months in healthy adults, however studies are variable in the elderly.
Which vaccine do we have?
There are several different types of flu shots available. Degen Berglund has the regular injection for use in muscles, which contains four “strains” of flu virus. This means it prevents against four possible flu viruses that may be causing symptoms this year. We do not have the nasal spray (which is no longer recommended for use by the CDC), “short-needle” intradermal, or “high dose” vaccines (for the elderly). Elderly patients may still receive the regular injection for protection.
For more information, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu