Bandage being placed on an arm after a flu shot.

Blue Cross Partners with Alana’s Foundation to Offer Free Flu Vaccines

Every year, between 5% and 20% of the American population gets the flu.

Flu season begins in October and lasts through February each year. It is considered an annual epidemic.

Each case of the flu varies in symptoms and severity, however it is not uncommon for the flu to result in hospitalizations and other complications. Common symptoms include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain and body aches, extreme fatigue and headaches. In some cases, typically in children, the flu may also cause vomiting or diarrhea.

The flu is dangerous for anyone, but especially for vulnerable populations, such as adults ages 65 and older, children under 5 years old and anyone with a chronic condition. Influenza is highly contagious and the best way to prevent it is by getting the flu vaccine annually, starting at six months of age. It also helps to wash your hands regularly and stay at home if you feel sick to prevent the spread of any germs.

This year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is partnering with Alana’s Foundation to raise awareness of influenza and offer free vaccinations at various community events across the state.

Alana’s Foundation was established in 2009 to honor the memory of Alana Yaksich, a 5 ½ year old girl who passed away due to a severe case of the flu in 2003. The foundation’s mission is to educate the public about influenza and promote vaccination rates. It’s now been more than 16 years since her passing, but Alana’s presence lives on by raising awareness of flu prevention.

The Center for Disease Control recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October. You can stop by at one of the participating events in October to get a free flu shot:

Please bring your insurance card or a copy with you to the event.

This is part of Blue Cross’ ongoing mission to keep our communities safe and healthy.

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Photo credit: SDI Productions

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