Have you already gotten your flu shot yet this year? If you have, great job on protecting yourself and those around you. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Flu season is already here, and the sooner you get your vaccine, the better protected you’ll be.
If you’re still on the fence about getting your flu shot, here are five reasons why you should:
- Flu complications can be serious.
The flu is no laughing matter. Flu complications, such as dehydration and pneumonia, send even healthy people to the hospital and cost patients billions of dollars in health care costs each year. On top of that, thousands of flu-related deaths occur in the U.S. annually.
- It’s effective.
Each year, experts look at research and trends to best identify the strains that will be the most common. This makes the flu vaccine the single most effective way to prevent the flu and keep you healthy.
- It’s safe.
One of the most common myths about the flu shot is that it can give you the flu. It can’t. The flu shot isn’t made from an active flu virus, so there’s no way it can cause the flu. The most common side effects of the vaccine are redness, soreness or swelling at the injection site. This is due to the injection itself, not the flu virus.
- It’s easy.
You can get the flu shot by visiting any participating pharmacy or by scheduling a visit with your doctor. If you choose to get the flu shot from your doctor, your office visit copayment may apply. If you choose to go to a participating pharmacy for your flu shot, be sure to:
- Contact your pharmacy first to see if it provides flu shots on-site.
- Ask your pharmacy if it participates with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network.
- If it does, bring your health plan’s ID card with you.
- It’s often free.
The flu shot is available for most Blue Cross and all Blue Care Network members at no extra cost as part of your preventive care benefits. Talk to your doctor for more information.
For more information about the flu vaccine, or where to find a participating pharmacy, visit bcbsm.com/preventflu.
Photo credit: Fort George G. Meade