How effective are the flu shots?
Efficacy varies every year. Because it takes at least six months to make and distribute the photos that become available in September, scientists have to get a better idea of what strains will circulate, and therefore what to include in a vaccine, well in advance. At that time – and even as vaccines are produced – circulating viruses can move, reducing the effectiveness of the vaccine. It is an imperfect science.
"We are doing everything we can," said Dr. Offit, who was also on the Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration who recommended the strains to be included. "But try to anticipate what will happen six months from now on."
Sometimes, he said, the experts are guessing wrong. In the 2014-15 season, the vaccine was only 19% effective. In the last season of influenza, the overall efficacy of the influenza A and B influenza vaccine was estimated at 40%. In other words, reducing the risk of needing medical care for flu by 40%, according to C.D.C.
Will I have to pay for my vaccine?
Most people with health insurance that comply with the Law on Affordable Care are entitled to a flu vaccination without co-payment or co-insurance. Make sure you consult with the insurer; you may be asked to take a photo from your doctor or some providers.
Images of Medicare influenza beneficiaries are listed in Part B; Beneficiaries do not pay for anything as long as the doctor or other provider accepts Medicare.
Medicaid covers influenza shots for children and young adults up to the age of 20. Eligible adults for Medicaid are also generally covered, although they may vary by state.
If you are not covered, the prices vary depending on the type of vaccine. Walgreens said that more than 90% of the customers they vaccinated are secured. Those who can not expect to pay $ 40.99 for a quadrivalent shot, while both options for those aged 65 and over – high dose coup and adjuvant – each costing $ 69.99.
At CVS, the quadrivalent is $ 41.99, and the high dose is $ 66.99.
Rite Aid offers a standard trivalent flu vaccine for $ 34.99 and a quadrivalent blow for $ 39.99. For people over 65, it offers Fluad, which includes an adjuvant, for $ 74.99.