Flu season is here and getting vaccinated has been made easier than ever. Now there are more widespread vaccination locations and choices on how to protect yourself. The most important part, though, is making sure you understand what you need to know about the flu. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare:
- If you’re a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network member, you can receive your flu vaccine through your doctor, pharmacist or other medical facility. Visit bcbsm.com/preventflu to quickly find a flu immunization provider.
- Despite rumors you may have heard, there’s little reason to worry about side effects or secondary symptoms. Because the flu shot is made with inactive flu particles, it won’t cause you to contract the illness. However, despite this, some people may complain of mild, flu-like symptoms after getting vaccinated. If you have concerns about getting a flu shot, talk to your doctor.
- A yearly flu shot is recommended for everyone six months and older, but it’s especially important for those in high-risk categories like:
- Adults 65 and older (high dose flu vaccine is recommended)
- Pregnant women
- People frequently around kids and infants
- People who are disabled or have chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD or heart disease
- Travelers and people who live abroad
- Flu season can start as early as September, typically peaks in January or February and can last through May. Getting a flu shot as soon as possible is the best way to combat the virus.
Visit a participating pharmacy with your member ID card to get your flu shot today. While most pharmacies will accept your coverage, be sure to ask before you get your vaccine. Then, write down the date and let your doctor know at your next appointment so he or she can keep your immunization chart up to date — and you healthy.
You can also schedule an appointment with your primary doctor to get one. Your office visit copayment may apply.
For Blue Cross members without BCBSM pharmacy coverage: Visit bcbsm.com/preventflu to see a list of immunizing pharmacies that provide vaccines under your medical coverage.
Photo credit: USACE Europe District