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Does Medicare Cover Flu Shots?

A typical year in the United States will see between 30,000 and 50,000 people die each year as a result of the influence of viral infection. If people are hospitalized for influenza, there is a 5 to 10% likelihood of having a fatal outcome in adults. The people who are at most at risk are those with weakened immune systems. As people get older, they are less likely to be able to fight off the flu. In the year 2017, the CDC says that 80,000 people died of the flu. This was the highest US death toll for influenza in 40 years. It was a bad season for the flu, bringing higher awareness to the importance of flu shots. When people get flu shots, they are less likely to get the flu overall.

It is essential to remember that while most influenza infections are in children, it is the elderly that have a higher mortality rate when influenza is contracted. Washing your hands is a great way to reduce risk, but getting a flu shot is also vital. Deaths from flu can result from pneumonia, as well as exacerbations of heart conditions and other chronic diseases. More than 90% of the deaths related to influenza and pneumonia are older adults.

Does Medicare Cover Flu Shots?

Fortunately for older adults, Medicare does cover flu shots. If a person just has Medicare Part A, this part of Medicare does not cover the shots, however. Medicare Part B does cover flu shots. In most cases, these shots are available at the end of October of each year. It is recommended to get your flu shot early as the shot itself takes around two weeks to be effective in a person’s body. Flu season is the most popular time of year for people to get the shot, which is between October and May. Even so, flu vaccines are generally available so long as the flu is circulating.

There are many places that people can get flu shots at. Some people choose to make appointments with their general practitioner, and others travel to a nearby pharmacy that provides the shots. The shots are generally not expensive, even without insurance. Getting an annual flu shot can help decrease risk not only of death but also the risk of missing work. Also, not being able to enjoy the winter activities you like to do.

It is extremely important for seniors to get flu vaccines. They have been shown to reduce hospitalization by over 55% in people over the age of 50. People over the age of 65 are most at risk for developing complications related to having the flu. These complications can include pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, sinus infections, and more.

Medicare Flu Shot Coverage Advantages

Additionally, the chronic health problems that people have can be made worse for people who get influenza. Protect yourself from influenza by getting a flu shot today. Medicare covers them, so find  a place nearby that can administer the shot and help you prevent influenza-related complications.

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