This year's flu shot is less than 50% effective in preventing infection, CDC says

Don't let your guard down: The US flu season is expected to continue for several more weeks, with activity across the nation now elevated, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

(WFSB) - We hope you don’t, but if you catch the flu there’s a good chance the doctor will prescribe Tamiflu.

It’s an anti-viral drug that’s highly effective when taken within the first 48 hours of symptoms, but it’s not cheap.

It all really depends on a person’s insurance plan, but out of pocket it can cost well over $100 and that’s for the generic.

“I just felt really fatigued my legs started to really cramp up. I got a headache, really bad nasal congestion,” said Jessica Dubay of Newington.

If symptoms weren’t proof enough, Jessica Dubay’s lab results did.

“It came back positive B, which is apparently not a very good flu to have,” said Dubay.

Her doctor prescribed Tamiflu.

If taken within the first 48 hours, the anti-viral drug greatly reduces the amount of time you feel sick.

“It ended up being pretty costly. It was about $130 but I really wanted to feel better, so I ended up paying the full $130,” Dubay said.

Dr. Kimberly Gygi says the cost of Tamiflu fluctuates.

“Insurance plans are changing, suppliers change, lots of different factors go into the price,” said Gygi.

A local pharmacist says with insurance Tamiflu can cost between 50 to 100 dollars, and without insurance the generic is $150.

Gygi tells her patients to use websites and apps for discounts.

“The big one is GoodRX. I like to use that one. It’ll give you a list of pharmacies and cost and a coupon code you just show the pharmacist and you’ll know the price you’ll be paying before you get to the pharmacy,” Gygi said.

In Connecticut this flu season, 25 people have died from the virus.

“You can’t mess around with the flu it’s so dangerous,” Gygi said.

And more than 3,800 lab tests have come back positive.

“With the Tamiflu it did help with the symptoms. I felt better within the first 24 hours afterwards,” said Dubay.

If you catch the flu check with your doctor, they may have coupons for Tamiflu.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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