Even Healthy People Need a Flu Vaccine
Influenza (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 flu is to get a vaccine every flu season.
Flu vaccination has many important benefits. It can lessen the severity of flu illnesses; reduce doctors’ visits, missed work, and school; and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
Why do I need 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 should I get vaccinated?
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 vaccine is especially important for people at high risk of developing serious complications.
Specific high-risk groups include:
- Adults 65 and older
- People with diabetes
- Pregnant women
- People with compromised immune systems due to HIV/AIDS, other medical conditions, and medications
- Children younger than 2 years old
- People with cancer
- Children with neurologic conditions
- People with chronic lung conditions or 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
- People who are obese with a body mass index of 40 or higher
Can I get COVID-19 and the flu?
The viruses that cause COVID-19 and the flu create many of the same symptoms – fever, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, and headaches. It is hard to diagnose which you have without testing. COVID-19 and the flu are also spread in the same ways – close contact, sneezing/coughing, touching unclean surfaces. You can also have both viruses at the same time. Fortunately, a vaccine exists for both and you can prevent worse symptoms by getting both vaccines heading into the flu season.
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 can I get vaccinated?
The flu and COVID-19 vaccines are available 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% of the allowable charge if you receive your flu shot from an in-network provider. Login to your MyBlueKC Member Portal, or the MyBlueKC App, to find a provider in your network.
How can I stop the spread of flu?
In addition to getting an annual flu shot, you can help fight the flu using common sense and by practicing good hygiene.
- 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
- Stay home when 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 and your loved ones from flu and its potentially serious complications. Learn more about flu vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you’re wondering if the flu vaccine is right for you, talk with your healthcare provider, who can answer your questions and offer advice based on your specific health needs.
Blue KC Care Management App
Do you have a medical condition you would like a registered nurse to help with? Engage with the Blue KC Care Management team through the Blue KC Care Management App. By connecting you to care right from your smartphone or tablet, the Care Management app is with you for every step of your care journey:
- Send secure messages to your care team
- Get encouragement and support via chat
- Set appointment and medication reminders
- Track your blood pressure, weight, physical activity, and more
- Read articles about your condition
- Click the App Store or Google Play buttons below to download the app
- Create an account
- Follow the instructions to set up your account
- Your access code is: kchelpwelcome