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Davidson News

New Vaccine for COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV Shots – Who, When, and How Much? Here’s What You Kneed To Know

The availability and considerations regarding vaccines for different respiratory illnesses, particularly focusing on COVID-19, influenza, and RSV vaccines.

Who should get these new vaccine, when it’s advisable to receive them, and the potential cost implications for individuals with different insurance coverage. (photo: WUSF News)

New Vaccine Comprehensive Guide to COVID-19, Flu, and RSV Shots and Costs

The Duncan Banner – Vaccination considerations come to the forefront of our minds. Beyond the well-known flu and COVID-19 shots, there’s a newcomer in town:  new vaccines for RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus. So, who should get these new vaccines, and when is the best time?

According to Dr. Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, it’s highly recommended that eligible individuals receive all three shots: influenza, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines. However, there’s no rush to get them all simultaneously, and cost considerations also play a role in decision-making.

Vaccine costs vary depending on your insurance coverage. COVID-19 shots, including updated versions expected this fall, are still accessible for most people at no cost, although the government no longer fully covers the expense as it did during the pandemic. Private insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid now share the cost burden. Those without insurance can access free vaccines through initiatives like the Bridge Access Program, and retail pharmacies may soon participate.

Flu shots, on the other hand, are typically available at no cost to those with insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. Uninsured individuals may find free or low-cost options at health centers and state health departments.

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RSV New Vaccine Costs, Coverage, and Effectiveness for Older Adults and Infants

According to the article of CBS News, for RSV vaccines which may cost between $180 and $295 per dose, coverage varies. Individuals with private insurance, following CDC recommendations, should have no copay. Medicare beneficiaries should check their Part D coverage, as the RSV vaccine falls under this program, potentially requiring out-of-pocket expenses. Insurers may take some time to list the RSV vaccine on their formularies, so individuals are advised to verify their health plan coverage before scheduling an appointment.

RSV, a common respiratory illness, primarily affects older adults and infants, especially those with underlying health conditions. The CDC recommends RSV vaccines for individuals aged 60 or older, following consultation with their healthcare provider. To minimize potential interactions with other vaccines, it’s recommended to administer the RSV vaccine separately, with a suggested two-week gap between vaccinations.

These RSV vaccines are expected to be highly effective in preventing severe disease during the upcoming season and may provide some protection into the following year. Additionally, a new monoclonal antibody for RSV has been approved for infants and young children.

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