Patient receiving vaccination.

Blue Cross Partnering to Offer Free Flu Vaccines

Between 9 to 45 million people annually are diagnosed with the flu in the United States, resulting in hospitalizations and even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu season begins in October and lasts through February each year. It is considered an annual epidemic. The CDC says it is especially important this year to help reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses, like the flu, considering the COVID-19 pandemic.

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. The flu 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.

For the second year in a row, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is partnering with Alana’s Foundation and other community organizations to raise awareness of the flu 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 17 years since her passing, but Alana’s presence lives on by raising awareness of flu prevention.

The CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, however, if you haven’t been vaccinated by then, it is still important to make time for a flu shot. Flu shots will be offered at the following locations in partnership with Alana’s Foundation and other partners (additional dates and locations will be added):

  • Dec. 3: Flint | North End Soup Kitchen, 735 Stewart Ave.
  • Dec. 4: Highland Park | SAY Detroit Clinic, 211 Glendale | 12-4 p.m.
  • Dec. 5: Grand Rapids | Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 510 Franklin St. SE | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 10: Flint | South End Soup Kitchen, 3410 Fenton Rd.
  • Dec. 11: Flint | Genesee Health Plan, 2171 Linden Rd. | 3 – 6 p.m.

These flu shot clinics are free to the public. If you’re a Blue Cross member, please bring your insurance card or a copy with you to the event, or use the BCBSM mobile app to access a virtual ID card from your smartphone. This is part of Blue Cross’ ongoing mission to keep our communities safe and healthy.

During National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 6-12, Meijer is offering free flu shots in every Michigan Meijer pharmacy for anyone in need of a flu shot who is uninsured. 

Select SpartanNash stores are also offering free flu shots during normal pharmacy hours. Flu shots will be available at these locations Dec. 6-12:

If you don’t see a flu shot clinic near you, visit vaccinefinder.org to find a spot to “give it a shot.” 

Badge that says: "The Flu Vaccine: Give it a Shot"

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Photo credit:
lechatnoir

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