Friday, October 15, 2010

Free Flu Shots

I'm sure everyone has a different opinion on whether getting the flu shot is actually necessary. [Insert personal experience: All I know is that before flu shots were developed, I got the flu every year and it developed into a 3-4 month long bout of bronchitis, which triggered temporary asthma. No fun. I don't get sick often, but when I do, it sticks around for a while. Since I've started getting the flu shot, I have gotten the flu just a couple of times, but not every year and it has not developed complications. So, while I avoid the flu mist at all costs (it's a live virus), I do get the flu shot every year and usually for free. When we lived in Shawnee I always went to the awesome drive-through flu clinic, and the last two years I have gotten it from the health department.] 

This year I was especially concerned to get us all vaccinated because 1) James is doing rotations and exposed to sick people daily. He will be doing Core IM rotations in January / February and that is when flu is most rampant. 2) Jaycen is too young to get vaccinated for flu, and I want to improve his odds of not catching it by making sure the adults around him (and most importantly, my two year old) are vaccinated. :) This is not just because flu is bad for babies, but especially because 2 years ago Alex and I did get the flu during his first winter, and his flu turned into dangerous pneumonia. Scary stuff.

SOOOOO, this year I was rather horrified to hear that there will be no free flu clinics!!  Even the health department is charging $25. Multiply that times the 3 of us and that's $$$ I don't have!! (J has gotten his shot for free at OSU CHS before, but this year so far we've only seen an email advising all students to get the flu shot, not advertising when it's offered to them).

Yesterday I found out a little known fact: Flu shots are in fact free to those who fall below 185% of the poverty line. That most likely includes all of us since med school loans do not count as income, and even if they did, we still fall below poverty line for our size family based on our loan "income" (for a family of 4, 185% above poverty line is $40,792.50. Is it just me or does that sound like a LOT of $?). Check it out here:

I'm not sure what they require to prove income, as some of you with (loans only) won't have a paystub as I do for my part time work. I heard from friends in OKC that they just had to verbally state their income and not require proof. I would call in advance to see what they require.

Sorry for the long post. It's the blogger in me dying to get out. :o) 

Disclaimer: Yes, yes, I know that even the free flu shots in the past were not really "free". Don't get me started, lol.

1 comment:

  1. Update: Of course, within 5 minutes of posting this, J received an email that OSU Medical Clinic is offering free flu shots to students. Call ahead to make sure they have it!

    Hurray! That takes care of one of us.


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