Influenza, commonly known as the "flu", is a contagious respiratory infection caused by a variety of influenza viruses. Although the illness caused by influenza infection ranges in severity, it has the potential to cause serious health complications, hospitalization or even death in certain individuals.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine.
•Epidemics such as the flu may result in high levels of worker absenteeism and productivity losses; therefore receiving a vaccination provides an economic benefit in addition to improved health outcomes.
•The flu virus is constantly changing and new strains have the potential to emerge each year. For the 2016-2017 season, two strains are different from viruses targeted by vaccines last year, so receiving a vaccine is the most effective method for preventing the flu for your members.
The majority of flu vaccination products for the 2016-2017 season will provide protection against the three virus strains the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted will cause the most illness. A few select products will offer protection against four virus strains, although the CDC does not recommend one type or brand of vaccine over another.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved seven different manufacturers to produce the 2016-2017 influenza vaccines.
All flu vaccines differ in regards to administration method, required number of doses and intended populations for use. Therefore, the choice of vaccine will depend largely on your members' individual characteristics and may vary from person to person. You should contact your healthcare provider to determine which product is right for you.
The average cost for the 2016 flu vaccine is $30; however, member copays vary based on your specific Plan. And depending on your Plan, the flu vaccine may be covered at a $0 under Healthcare Reform.
FDA Approved Flu Vaccines 2016-2017 Flu Season Afluria® FLUAD® Fluarix® Quadrivalent FluLaval® Quadrivalent Flucelvax® Fluvirin® Fluzone®, Fluzone High-Dose, Fluzone Intradermal Fluzone® Quadrivalent Flublok®
Please note that FluMist Quadrivalent® has been removed from the list of covered vaccinations due to recent recommendations from the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advising against the use of live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV) during the 2016-2017 flu season. The recommendation is based on recent studies evaluating the effectiveness of this vaccine.
To learn more about this year's flu vaccine and coverage through your Plan, visit MedTrakRx's website at www.medtrakrx.com or contact a MedTrakRx Pharmacy Benefit Advisor at 800-771-4648.
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