Tulsa, Osage County Health Departments offer flu shots by appointment

The Tulsa Health Department is now offering seasonal flu vaccinations by appointment at four locations in the Tulsa area, including Sand Springs Health Center.

New this year is a high-dose vaccine that is recommended for everyone age 65 and older.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months.

Health officials remind residents that getting a flu shot each year is the best way to prevent the flu. The vaccine can reduce your chances of getting the flu, make it milder if you do get it, and keep you from spreading the virus to other people.

The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from the flu, including the elderly, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

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“We want everyone to do what they can to prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths in Tulsa County,” said Priscilla Haynes, chief of preventive health for the Tulsa Department of Health.

“During the last flu season, Tulsa County residents experienced 266 flu-related hospitalizations and 2 flu-related deaths,” she said in a news release. “Taking steps to prevent the flu will allow our health care systems to focus their efforts and have room to treat all illnesses, including COVID-19.”

The quadrivalent flu vaccine is available by appointment at these Tulsa Health Department locations:

• Sand Springs Health Center, 306 E. Broadway St.

• Central Regional Health Center, 315 S. Utica Ave. in Tulsa

• Northern Regional Health and Wellness Center, 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Tulsa

• James O. Goodwin Health Center, 5051 S. 129th East Ave. in Tulsa

Call 918-582-9355 or go online to tulsa-health.org/flu to make an appointment at any location. Masks are mandatory for customers seeking clinical services.

Influenza vaccines can be given at the same time as any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Like any medical product, vaccines can cause side effects. Side effects from the flu shot are usually mild and go away on their own within a few days.

Most people will not have to pay out of pocket for the vaccine. The following options are available:

People 18 and younger are eligible to get vaccines for free through the Vaccines for Kids program if they are Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, Native American or Alaska Native, or if their insurance policy does not cover vaccines.

The Tulsa Health Department accepts Medicare and SoonerCare Medicaid, Cigna, Community Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Health Choice for immunizations.

Coverage may vary between insurance plans. Bring your insurance card and photo ID to the appointment.

A regular injectable flu shot will cost $25. High-dose flu shots will cost $63.

The cost of a regular flu shot may be waived for eligible uninsured adults.

In addition to the flu shot, the Tulsa Health Department offers the following prevention tips:

• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

• Outside your home, put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who do not live in your household.

• Wear a mask in public during times of high risk of COVID-19 in the community, according to CDC’s COVID data tracking, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

• Stay home from work, school and other public places if you are sick. Avoid close contact with sick people.

• Make “respiratory hygiene” a habit, including using tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then throwing them away and washing your hands immediately. When tissues are not readily available, use your sleeve, never your hands.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

• Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of respiratory illness and take your temperature if symptoms occur. Call your healthcare provider for advice if you experience symptoms.

For more information, call 918-582-9355 or go online to tulsa-health.org/flu.

Osage County: For information about the flu vaccine in Osage County, call the Osage County Health Department at 918-287-3740.

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