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Many flu shot options available to older adults this season

Published 9:36am Friday, October 4, 2013

Fluzone Intradermal: If you’re squeamish about needles, the intradermal shot is a nice option because it uses a tiny micro-needle to inject the vaccine just under the skin, rather than deeper in the muscle like standard flu shots. This year’s version will protect against three strains of influenza, and is recommended to those ages 18 to 64.

FluBlok: Created for people who are allergic to eggs who have had to skip their yearly flu shot. FluBlok is the first egg-free flu vaccine developed through cell technology from three flu strains cultured in caterpillar cells. This shot, however, is only recommended to younger adults between the ages of 18 and 49.

FluMist: This nasal spray vaccine protects against four strains of influenza, just like the quadrivalent shot, but it’s only recommended for those between age 2 and 49.

To locate a vaccination site that offers these options, ask your doctor or pharmacist, or check the online flu-shot locator at flushot.healthmap.org. Most chain pharmacies will offer the standard and high-dose shots, along with the flumist nasal spray.

But because of limited supply, it may be a bit more difficult to locate the intradermal, quadrivalent or flublock vaccines.

Most health plans and Medicare will cover the cost of a flu shot. But if you’re not covered by insurance, you can expect to pay around $25 to $35 for a standard, intradermal or quadrivalent flu shot, or $50 to $60 for a shot of the high-dose or flublock.

For more information on the different flu vaccines, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/flu, or call 800-232-4636.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

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