• Category Archives Public Health
  • Where to get free flu shots

    Obtaining Free Flu Shots

    There are a number of locations to obtain a complimentary influenza shot:

    1. Your Employer

    Many employers provide cost-free flu shots to all workers this year. They may also offer totally free influenza shots to relatives as well. Consult your company to see if they will be offering cost-free influenza shots this year. If they are not, provide this feedback– the economic impact.of the influenza in the United StateS is $87.1 billion annually, in lost work and other indirect expenses like healthcare.

    2. Your Physician with your Health Insurance

    Indirectly, via your company or if you have a public health.insurance exchange, your medical insurance can   pay for your influenza shot with no cost, because of Affordable Care Act insurance coverage rules, when provided by an in-network supplier.

    3. Your County Health Department

    Several regional wellness departments offer cost-free flu shots to kids as well as the elderly. Progressively they are offering this solution to everyone. The only downside is the potential for long waiting lines.  Have a look at your county or cities web site for  more details.

    Other Cheap Flu Shot Locations

    If you don’t have health insurance, or an employer or county health.department that offers cost-free flu shots, there are a variety of stores providing rather affordable flu shots for the 2015-2016 flu season. If you do.have medical insurance that covers influenza shots, it might even be more.convenient compared to going to your doctor.

     

    • Costco Flu Shots: Costs $14.99. The least expensive on this listing if you don’t have insurance.
    • CVS Flu shots: Costs$31.99. You get a 20% off one-time promo valid on non-sale. goods and non-pharmacy acquisitions as much as $50(optimum value $10 ). Typical co-pay applies.
    • Walgreen’s Flu Shots:$31.99 Insurance approval differs. Typical co-pay applies.
    • Rite Aid Flu Shots: Costs$31.99. Insurance policy approval differs. Typical co-pay applies.
    • Meijer Flu Shot Costs$27.99. Insurance approval differs. Common co-pay applies.
    • Wal Mart Flu Shots: Costs$25. Insurance policy acceptance differs, Usual co-pay applies.
    • Sams Club Flu Shots: Costs $15. Insurance acceptance varies. Common co-pay applies.
    • Kroger Flu Shots Costs$28. Insurance coverage approval varies. Typical co-pay applies.
    • Target Flu Shots: Costs$24.99. Insurance policy acceptance differs.Normal co-pay applies.

     

    You can also check the CDC’s Flu.gov influenza shot locator site, which provides a map of places near you that supply influenza shots.


  • New JAMA Study: Smoking Declines Have Saved and Lengthened Millions of Lives Over the Past 50 Years

    As the United States marks the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) powerfully illustrates how much our nation’s health has benefited from reductions in smoking over the past 50 years – and how far we still have to go to end the epidemic of death and disease caused by tobacco.

    The study shows that the health gains from reducing smoking have been truly astonishing:

    • From 1964-2012, at least 8 million premature, smoking-related deaths were prevented.
    • Each of these 8 million individuals gained, on average, 20 years of life, for a total of 157 million years of life saved.
    • Most remarkably, the researchers estimated that reductions in smoking contributed fully 30 percent of the increase in life expectancy in the U.S. from 1964 to 2012.

    Despite this progress, the study is also a sobering reminder of the huge toll smoking continues to have on our nation.  It finds that from 1964-2012, at least 17.6 million deaths were attributable to smoking.  Today, tobacco use is still the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S., killing more than 440,000 Americans each year and costing the nation nearly $200 billion annually in health care expenditures and lost productivity.

     


  • U.S. Radiation Monitoring Inadequate, Says Doctors’ Group

    Every terrorist attack or nuclear incident anywhere in the world causes much public fear about radiation—and distrust of government reassurance.

    Recent concerns relate to leaking water containment vessels at Fukushima. Then there are threats of retaliation if the U.S. strikes Syria. Terrorist groups likely already possess what is needed to make a briefcase nuclear device or enough radioactive material to use in a radiation dispersal device (“dirty bomb”).

    County emergency management officials may believe that we have an adequate, widespread net of radiation monitors. In fact, we are “upside down” on radiation monitoring, states the September 2013 Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains about 100 fixed sites and also has some 40 portable devices in the RadNet system. While the devices are very costly, they are prone to failure and have serious limitations. Most are probably saturated at levels as low as 10 mrad/hr (.01 rad/hr or 0.1 mSv/hr). They could not distinguish between a level that causes no health effects and one that is rapidly lethal. As they sample the air periodically, they could miss fallout particles that settle rapidly.

    In the 1990s, the federal government disposed of millions of Geiger counters, dosimeters, and survey meters that it provided to states during the Cold War. These were not replaced. Most current instruments are designed for interdiction (detecting radioactive material), not managing events after a detonation.

    ‘If nuclear terrorism occurs, hundreds of thousands of lives could be needlessly lost, either because of unwarranted panic or inability to measure dangerous doses,” states Jane Orient, M.D., president of Physicians for Civil Defense.

    “Emergency responders need instruments with a broad enough range, and an understanding of radiation effects at different levels,” she states. “Ideally, every fire station should have a robust, affordable fallout monitor on the roof that constantly transmits readings via the internet.”

     


  • Family Research Council Reacts to FDA’s Decision on Plan B Places Health of Young Girls at Risk

    WASHINGTON, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Anna Higgins, Family Research Council’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity released the following statement following the decision today by the Food and Drug Administration to make Plan B available over the counter to girls as young as 15 years old:

    “This decision shows an alarming lack of concern for the safety of young girls, the fundamental rights of parents, and concerns of the medical community.

    “The effects of taking a high dose of a systematically absorbed hormone during puberty are unknown. There have been no studies on the drug’s effect on young girls. OTC sales could encourage repeat use, which is unsafe. There is no good reason to believe that young girls understand that this drug is designed to be used only once per month and is not a substitute for oral contraception.

    “Over the counter availability of Plan B for teens distances those girls at highest risk for sexual abuse and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from the medical supervision they need. If Plan B is available OTC, teens and women will avoid necessary medical screenings during which serious medical problems like STIs would be detected and treated. A 2010 study out of the UK shows that the increased availability of Plan B to teens was followed by a spike in STI rates among that age group.

    “Additionally, this decision undermines the right of parents to make important health decisions for their young daughters. Parents have every right to be involved in any health decisions that affect their children. No parent wants his or her daughter exposed to a potentially dangerous medication without their consent. Instead of allowing unfettered access to potentially dangerous drugs to teens, parent-teen communication regarding the medical and moral issues involved with sexual behavior should be encouraged,” concluded Higgins.

     


  • Health Industry Fails to Meet Requirements

      One of President Obamas plans to slash nationwide costs has fallen short for a second time. The proposed $2 trillion savings suggestion that was announced and praised a a small number of months ago has fallen short by several hundred billion dollars. Health industry officials in spite of everything claimed achievement in producing solid propositions in time for a deadline put in place by the President where they promised to reduce their own costs to assist his outline for health care reform.

    Obama required a progress report by early June and the main five industry groups and one labor association gave it yesterday. They sent the President a letter along with a sequence of cost-savings proposals in which they claimed they may perhaps rack up $1 trillion to $1.7 trillion in savings over a decade. What youve seen is the coming as one of some really unlikely bedfellows and it really is very important. This is a very important mutual attempt, said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, president of the American Medical Association.

    Funds that are being planned include: $150 billion to $180 billion from additional-efficient use of health care services, $350 billion to $850 billion from better managing chronic illnesses, and $500 billion to $700 billion by way of administrative and business improvements such as standardizing claim forms.

    Insurers, doctors, hospitals, drug manufacturers, medical device manufacturers and a leading health care union, which collect the major group under examination here, indicated that savings could be more significant due to the fact they were conventional in their estimates; some of the ideas in their plan hadnt been considered enough to be quantified.

    White House health spokeswoman Linda Douglass claimed the White House was looking over the propositions. She commented, It is significant that these groups, some of which opposed reorganization in the past, are now at the table with the president acknowledging that we must reform health care this year. Undoubtedly, they are in agreement with the president that it is possible to significantly decrease the growth rate of health care expenditures that is overwhelming families, companies, governments and is stifling economic growth.

    Health care industry leaders did not think much of the malfunction to hit the $2 trillion proposal. Some stated the claimed savings were just the beginning, at the same time as others stated that they had never agreed to reach $2 trillion on their own in the first place. They challenge that they agreed to contribute in an industry-wide effort only to slow increases in the industry. The president asked for a progress report on June 1 so we decided to meet that deadline, said Karen Ignagni, head of Americas Health Insurance Plans.

    The groups did not attempt to determine how much of the savings would grow to the federal government, rather than to the health care organization all together.

    Im cynical that these proposals will add up to anywhere near $2 trillion, said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. In the governmental process, propositions rise or descend based on what the Congressional Budget Office does.