How Much Does a Whooping Cough Shot Cost?
Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a prolonged or severe cough illness that is very contagious. Cold-like symptoms with mild cough appear at first, but the symptoms eventually become violent with rapid coughing until lungs run out of air. People who have the disease spread it to others through droplets from the mouth and nose. Very young infants are at highest risk for the disease, but it can be present in people of all ages.
Everyone from ages 7 up to adulthood needs to be vaccinated with the whooping cough vaccine. DTaP is the vaccine for children under 7 years old, while Tdap is for children 7 and up, adolescents and adults. The pertussis vaccine is given with the diphtheria and tetanus vaccines, hence, the acronym DTaP and Tdap. The reason that this vaccine is so important is due to the extremely contagious nature of this sickness. Because the symptoms appear like a simple cold at first, the disease can be spread before the person even knows he has it.
How much does it cost?
- On average, the normal cost of a Tdap booster shot without insurance range from $60-$120.
- Quoting the popular pharmacy store Walgreens, they charge $64 for the vaccination.
- Basically, pharmacies differ with the cost of their vaccination. For instance, General Medical Clinics pegs their cost around $120. US Healthworks is around $90+, while Kohll’s charges $83. Other pharmacies like Fred Meyer, Rite Aid, Safeway, Walmart and Albertson’s are priced almost the same at between $55 and $70.
- According to Marci Reynolds, clinical-care coordinator for QFC , the price for the vaccine is $60.
- If you have insurance, vaccines like the whooping cough vaccine will be part of each person’s normal check up and will therefore be covered. The only cost for which the patient will be responsible is the co-pay or deductible. Depending on the type of insurance, this will probably be $20 or less.
What is going to be included?
- For the prices quoted by the pharmacies mentioned, administration of the vaccine by health personnel is included. This vaccine is given as a simple shot that can be administered to different parts of the body but is most commonly given in the arm for adults or in the thigh for small children. The booster is also recorded on your health record.
- To get more information on what this vaccine can do for you, Vaccines.gov has the basics noted.
What are the extra costs?
- Pharmacies and health care providers in California and Washington charge a service fee from $10 to $17.50 to administer the vaccine if the medicine is given free or at low cost for those who are uninsured.
- If there are any negative reactions to the vaccine, further medical treatment may be needed.
Tips to know:
- Insurance companies usually cover the cost of the vaccine. If you do not have insurance, use companies such as eHealthInsurance.com to find a low-cost policy in your area.
- Some pharmacy chains have gone into partnership with the counties in which they are located to offer free to low cost Tdap vaccines for those who do not have insurance.
- The cost of Tdap is covered by Medicare Part D for adults aged 65 and older.
- Check with your local states for assistance. For example, in Seattle, children below 19 can get the vaccines at low cost through health care providers participating in the state’s Childhood Vaccine Program.
- Also, uninsured children in California can avail of the vaccine for free through the federal Vaccines for Children Program or Medi-Cal.
- People who cannot afford the service fee for administration of the vaccine can ask to have the fee waived.
- You should not receive the whooping cough vaccine if your immune system is not at its peak or if you are on certain medications. Always consult your doctor before receiving any vaccine. If you go to a pharmacy or a walk-in clinic, make sure you fill out your medical history form completely and precisely.
- The most common side affect of the whooping cough vaccination is a stiff or sore arm. This is no cause for alarm as it happens to almost everyone.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Are you presently suffering from illnesses such as severe colds, flu or any infections?
- Have you had a severe or life threatening allergic reaction to the vaccine or any ingredient of it?
- Have you gone into a coma or had a seizure within 7 days after receiving the DTaP vaccine?
- For women: If pregnant or plan to get pregnant, have you consulted your doctor if you should receive the vaccine?
- Do you have a history of epilepsy, Guillain-Barré syndrome or nervous system disorders, and if so, have you checked with your health specialist if you can have the vaccine?
How can I save money?
- QFC and Bartell Drugs and QFC pharmacies offer low-cost Tdap vaccine.
- Again, check with your local state health department to see what kind of programs they offer.