A nurse fills a syringe with the flu vaccine in 2018. Photo: Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Insured patients don't directly pay anything for flu shots, but they can be expensive — and these costs vary widely, California Healthline reports with Kaiser Health News.

Why it matters: It's well-documented that the prices of health care services vary widely by location, but the price discrepancy among flu shots — which are cheap — drives home how inconsistent and arbitrary the system can be.

  • Even if patients aren't paying these prices out of pocket, we all pay for inflated costs via higher premiums.

Case in point: KHN found that what its insurer paid for KHN employees' flu shots varied dramatically; the insurer paid $85 to one facility in Sacramento and $32 at a drugstore in Washington, D.C.

  • In D.C., Medicaid pays $15 for a flu shot.

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Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
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Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.