Flu season is here and with more widespread vaccination locations, as well as a choice in how to protect yourself, it’s easier than ever to receive the flu vaccine. The most important part, though, is making sure you are confident going in to get vaccinated. Here are a few things to keep in mind when as you prepare:
- Across the state of Michigan, you can now receive your flu vaccine through your doctor, pharmacist or other medical facility. Visiting bcbsm.com/preventflu can help you quickly find a flu immunization provider or using BCBSM’s Find a Doctor tool can narrow down physicians who can provide the vaccine based on your location and coverage plan.
- There is also more than one vaccination option to choose from. Flu shots and nasal sprays both protect against the same viral strains. The nasal spray vaccine is recommended for healthy children 2 to 8, so consider which option may be the best for you or your family and consult your doctor if you have extensive concerns.
- Despite the hype, there’s little reason to worry about side effects or secondary symptoms. Because the flu shot vaccine is made with dead flu particles, it won’t cause you to contract the illness. However, some people may have mild, flu-like symptoms after getting vaccinated.
- A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, but it’s especially important for those in high-risk categories like:
- Adults 65 and older
- Pregnant women
- Kids and infants
- People who are disabled or those with chronic conditions such as asthma, heart disease or chronic lung disease
- Travelers and people who live abroad
- Flu season typically peaks in January or February and has been known to last through May. Getting a flu shot as soon as possible is the best way to combat the virus.
Photo credit: USACE Europe District