6 Things Everyone Should Know About the Flu Shot
Flu vaccines prevented 7.52 million illnesses and 6,300 deaths during the 2019-2020 flu season.
Flu season typically runs from October to February each fall and winter. It’s important to make a plan to get the flu shot, especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the flu shot won’t protect against COVID-19, it reduces your risk of the flu and serious complications, including hospitalization.
Before you head to your doctor, clinic or participating pharmacy to get your shot, there are a few things to know:
- It takes two weeks for the vaccine to kick in. This is a good reason to get vaccinated early in the season, when flu viruses spread slowly.
- Getting the flu shot will not cause you to get the flu.
- It’s generally fine to get a flu shot if you are feeling sick, but if you have a fever, it’s best to wait. Always consult with your doctor prior to getting the flu shot, especially if you have a chronic condition.
- You may experience mild side effects from the shot, such as soreness at the injection site, mild fever or nausea.
- Talk to your health care provider if you have a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines or an allergy to eggs. Some vaccines are made using small amounts of egg proteins, but there are types of flu vaccines that don’t contain any. If you have any concerns regarding the flu shot, talk to your doctor.
- Children under the age of six months are too young to receive the vaccine, but if you’re pregnant, the CDC recommends you get the flu shot. It will protect both you and your baby from serious flu complications.
If you’re a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network member, visit a participating pharmacy with your member ID card to get your flu shot. 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.
You can also schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor to get one. Your office visit copayment may apply.
For Blue Cross members without Blue Cross pharmacy coverage: Visit bcbsm.com/preventflu to see a list of immunizing pharmacies that provide vaccines under your medical coverage.