Teton County flu shot clinics begin today

People looking to get a flu shot may visit the Teton County Health Department at 460 E. Pearl Ave. anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays until Nov. 15.

Before ski season, Jackson faces flu season.

“The annual flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu,” Dr. Martin Trott said in a statement.

Though the ideal time for vaccination is before the end of October, various locations are offering vaccine clinics through mid-November.

Flu shots are covered by many insurance plans, but for those who don’t want to go through insurance, St. John’s Family Health and Urgent Care is offering regular dose vaccines for $25. The office, located in the Smith’s Food and Drug plaza, plans to hold a clinic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Regular dose flu shots are also available at St. John’s Pharmacy, located inside the professional office building at 555 E. Broadway, for $50. The pharmacy is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. A high-dose vaccine will be available for $80 for the remainder of the flu season.

A high-dose flu shot, which contains more antigens, is suggested for seniors. For ages 65 and older, this vaccine is covered by Medicare Part B. Medicare or insurance can be billed for vaccines received at St. John’s Pharmacy.

Walk-in clinics are also held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays at the Teton County Health Department, 460 E. Pearl Ave. Clinics will run through Nov. 15. High-dose vaccines are available as are other vaccines. Call the department at 733-6401 in advance to receive additional vaccines, such as one for pneumonia.

Regarding cost, the health department asks that patients know the details of their insurance plans. The department can bill insurance for the cost of the vaccine, or patients can pay $30 out of pocket. Should an invoice be submitted to insurance and denied, patients will be asked to pay $25 for the vaccine plus a $20 administrative fee.

Local pharmacies can also administer vaccines, as can private providers.

The influenza virus changes over time, so a vaccine is recommended every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Peak flu season falls between December and February. Reggie McClinton, a Wyoming Department of Health epidemiologist, said the 2018-19 season was classified as severe.

“Unfortunately, we received reports of about 23 flu-related deaths, hundreds of hospitalizations and thousands of reported cases of flu,” McClinton said in a statement.

Contact Sara White or Melissa Cassutt at valley@jhnewsandguide.com.

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