When to Get a Flu Shot
The best time to get a flu shot is October and November, to assure maximum protection throughout the influenza season, which can start as early as November and usually does not end until late March or early April. The highest incidence of flu cases generally occurs in March, however, so it is never too late to vaccinate.
Cost of a Flu Shot
The cost of a flu shot ranges from $12 to $25 depending on where you get it. Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance companies cover the cost of flu shots for the elderly and other high-risk groups. The Flu Mist vaccine is generally not available at public clinics.
Flu Shots for Children
Children between the ages of 6 months and 9 years who are receiving their first flu vaccination will need to receive two flu shots, one month apart, to guarantee immunity. If your child never received their second flu shot last year due to the shortage of flu shot vaccinations, they will only need to receive one vaccination this year according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. Most Pittsburgh area clinics, doctors and hospitals, including Children's Hospital and the Allegheny County Health Department, do not have the new mercury-free vaccine available. Check with your children's doctor for availability.
FLU SHOT CLINICS 2007
Health Hope Network Clinics
Previously known as the Visiting Nurse Foundation, Health Hope Network still operates the largest largest community flu-shot program in the Pittsburgh region as the FLU BGONE program. Flu clinics can be found at hundreds of Pittsburgh area locations, including Shop 'n Save locations and National City Banks, as well as more than 50 churches. Flu shots are available to people 9 years of age and older and will cost approximately $26 (some insurance plans are accepted). The first flu shot clinics open October 2, 2007.
Allegheny County Health Department
The Allegheny County Health Department's flu vaccination clinic opens October 15, 2007. Flu shots are available for anyone 6 months and older at a cost of $25. The flu shots are free to those covered by Medicare Part B, and not in an HMO. Those in an HMO should get a flu shot from their doctor. In addition, the Health Department offers pneumonia shots year-round; free to those covered by Medicare Part B, not in an HMO. No appointment necessary.
Allegheny Health Department Flu Shot Clinic
3441 Forbes Avenue, Oakland
Mon, Tues, Thur and Fri 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Maxim Healthcare Flu Clinics
Maxim sponsors flu shot clinics, beginning October 1, at hundreds of Pittsburgh locations including area Giant Eagle, Costco, CVS and Walmart stores, and many area fitness clubs and YMCA locations. Flu shots are administered only to individuals of 9 years of age or older at the Maxim Clinics.
Passport Health Flu Shots
Passport Health holds several annual flu shot clinics in the greater Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania area. Flu shot clinics for 2007 are open in Monroeville every Wednesday and Saturday, and in Carnegie and Cranberry every Saturday only in October and November. Flu shot hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. No appointments necessary. Cost is $25 - cash, check or credit card only (no insurance).
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
The VA generally offers flu shots at walk-in flu clinics at its major Pittsburgh area VA facilities. Check back soon for updated 2007 flu shot locations and times.