As we approach the winter season, the annual influenza (flu) vaccine is available to all Bestmed members and dependants. The flu vaccine is funded from the Scheme’s preventative care benefit and not from a member’s available day-to-day benefits or savings.
The vaccines and administration thereof are already available at certain Bestmed network pharmacies or Bestmed medical centre without a co-payment. Bestmed will reimburse service providers for the cost of the vaccine, together with the contracted dispensing fee and administration fee (code 981062001). There should be no co-payment payable by members as the above reimbursement should fall within available benefits.
The flu vaccination is not indicated to prevent COVID-19 but it will help to protect against flu and protect vulnerable individuals from potentially more severe diseases. It may also help to avoid unnecessary doctor’s visits. Members are advised to further discuss any concerns they may have regarding the vaccines with their doctor, pharmacist, or clinic nurse.
COVID-19 is not an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), like influenza, but rather a systemic disease that affects the entire body. The common cold, allergic rhinitis, asthma and influenza are common diseases, which may complicate the diagnosis of a COVID-19 infection. Therefore, it is important for members to protect themselves against the flu by being vaccinated as soon as possible. Please note that according to the South African COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Circular 3 of 2022, the flu vaccine can be administered together with the COVID-19 vaccines, and there is no need to wait between administrations. Also discuss this with your healthcare provider, if required.