Even Healthy People Need a Flu Vaccine
Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death.
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine every flu season.
Flu vaccination has many important benefits. It can reduce the severity of flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
It’s important to get a flu vaccine every year.
Because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next. For the best protection, you need the current season’s vaccine. What’s more, because immune protection declines over time, an annual vaccine is needed for the best protection.
When to get vaccinated.
Make a plan to get vaccinated before flu season starts. The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against the flu to develop in the body.
Who should get a flu shot.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months or older get an annual flu vaccine. A flu vaccine is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza.
Specific high-risk groups include:
- Adults 65 and older
- People who have diabetes
- Pregnant women
- People who have compromised immune systems, such as those due to HIV/AIDS, other medical conditions, and medications
- Young children
- People who have cancer
- Children with neurologic conditions
- People with asthma
- People with a history of heart disease and stroke
- People with some other chronic medical conditions, such as kidney, liver, blood, and metabolic disorders
Is the flu vaccine safe?
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years.
Where to get vaccinated?
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations including primary care doctors’ offices, pediatrician practices, and local pharmacies. Be sure to call in advance to confirm vaccine availability and to see if an appointment is required.
Your Blue KC medical policy will pay 100 percent of the allowable charge if you receive your flu shot from an in-network provider. Log in to your MyBlueKC member portal or the MyBlueKC App to find a provided in your network.
Other ways you can stop the spread of flu.
In addition to getting a flu shot every flu season, you can help fight the flu with good common sense and by practicing good hygiene. Here’s how you can take action to prevent the flu:
- Avoid contact with those who are sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wash your hands often
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause the flu
- Stay home if you’re sick
No one has time for the flu. Make time to roll your sleeve up and get your flu vaccine this fall. And help protect yourself, your loved ones, and your hometown of Kansas City from flu and its potentially serious complications. Learn more about flu vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccinations.htm.
And if you’re wondering if the flu vaccine is right for you, talk with your healthcare provider. They can answer your questions and offer advice based on your specific health needs.