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Network Health Blog

Vaccines are Crucial, but Where Should You Start?

Person receiving vaccine from a pharmacist at a pharmacy

Where Is the Best Place to Get Vaccinated?

By Andy Wheaton PharmD., director of pharmacy benefits at Network Health
6/9/2022

It’s no secret that vaccine has been the defining word of the past two years. Many people are beginning to get “vaccine fatigue,” hearing about the COVID-19 vaccine and its CDC-recommended guidelines for just as long now. We hear you.

But, while the COVID-19 vaccine is important for reducing the severity and spread of its namesake, there are several other conditions about which we want to keep you informed on prevention. From infants to those aged 65 and better, vaccinations continue to play a vital role in protecting our bodies.

But where is the best place to get a vaccine? That answer depends on the vaccine in question.

Should I go to my doctor or pharmacist for a vaccine?

Speaking with Network Health members every day, we know there’s confusion on the best place to get a vaccine and how it will be processed. Some members may stay on top of their CDC-recommended vaccination schedule by making an appointment with their personal doctor.

On the other hand, some members prefer to walk into their neighborhood pharmacy, receive their immunization and head out.

Is one better than the other? Well, sometimes. First and foremost, we want to encourage you to receive your vaccines wherever you are comfortable and willing to get them. Sometimes, however, one may be more advantageous.

For example, if you have Medicare, vaccinations like Shingrix and Tdap (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis) are billed on the Medicare Part D benefit. That means that if you’re not receiving your vaccines at a local pharmacy, you may need to submit additional paperwork (commonly referred to as manual billing) to be reimbursed for them.

Flu and pneumonia vaccines, on the other hand, are processed as Part B vaccinations and can easily be processed at a pharmacy or provider’s office.

If your plan is through your employer or the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace, nearly all vaccinations can be easily processed at a pharmacy or provider’s office. We again encourage you not to wait, but to get your vaccines when you are due based on current guidelines and wherever it is convenient for you.

If you plan to visit a local pharmacy for your vaccinations, please call ahead to verify they have the vaccination in stock.

Although there are some exceptions, Wisconsin pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are able to provide vaccinations to people 6 years of age and older.

In terms of recommended locations to get your vaccines and minimize paperwork, here’s an easy chart you can follow.

Immunization

Recommended for Medicare plans

Recommended for group or individual/family plans

COVID-19 vaccine and boosters

Pharmacy or personal doctor’s office

Pharmacy or personal doctor’s office

Flu

Pharmacy or personal doctor’s office

Pharmacy or personal doctor’s office

Pneumonia

Pharmacy or personal doctor’s office

Pharmacy or personal doctor’s office

Shingrix

Pharmacy

Pharmacy or personal doctor's office

Meningococcal

Pharmacy

Pharmacy or personal doctor’s office

Tdap

Pharmacy

Pharmacy or personal doctor’s office

This list isn’t exhaustive but covers the most common vaccines and immunizations we hear people asking about on the Network Health pharmacy team.

As a friendly reminder, if you’re a Network Health member, you have access to a team of pharmacists who can help answer questions about your medication and even conduct medication reviews to make sure you’re getting the best value out of your personal medication plan. You can learn more about that by clicking here.

If you have any questions about your medication, vaccines and preventing conditions like COVID-19, shingles and more, contact us today.

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