Arm clients with flu vaccine education
Flu season is as predictable as any major holiday and leaves millions in its wake. The CDC estimates in 2022-231:
- 27-54 million Americans caught the flu
- 300,000 – 600,000 individuals were hospitalized with the flu
- 19,000 – 58,000 individuals died of the flu
Help your clients from falling victim to the flu this year by encouraging them to get the flu vaccine and reminding them this virus is smart. We’ve made it easy with these resources:
- Employer/Group Brokers – Talk with your employer group clients about hosting a flu vaccine clinic. This Flu Shot Vendor Information flyer has contact information for local vendors that provide on-site flu shot clinics.
- All Brokers – The article below, “Outsmart the flu – Get vaxxed!” can be posted on your website, link to from your social media channels, or emailed to clients.
If you have questions, please contact your Blue KC representative.
Outsmart the flu – Get vaxxed!
The flu is a sneaky character. It can invade your body undetected, mask itself from the immune system, and keep up its charade until … you feel that tickle in the back of your throat and those body aches that aren’t from yesterday’s workout. Fast forward a few hours and you also may develop: Fever – Chills – Cough – Sore Throat – Runny or Stuffy Nose – Headache – Fatigue – Vomiting or Diarrhea.
Protect yourself from the flu for $0
When it comes to the flu, don’t risk it. Get the flu vaccine! Blue KC health plans cover the cost of the vaccine 100% when it’s administered by an in-network provider, such as your primary care provider (PCP) or a retail health clinic. Blue KC members can find an in-network provider at MyBlueKC.com and click Find Care in the left column. Spira Care Centers also will offer walk-in flu shot clinics and drive-up options at select Care Centers. If you’re a Blue KC member with exclusive access to Spira Care Centers, look for more information from Spira Care in the coming weeks.
Get to know the enemy
You may know some of the flu’s personality traits:
- It spreads before you have symptoms
- It can come on suddenly
- It infects up to 11% of the U.S. population a year
- Its powers are significantly reduced by the flu vaccine
But here are a few you may not know:
Flu spreads easier than you may think
Remember those aerosols we were introduced to during Covid? Turns out, they’re responsible for spreading the flu, too. People with the flu generate infectious, tiny droplets that stay suspended in the air. By simply breathing, not to mention sneezing and coughing, a sick person is spreading the flu.
Flu puts older adults and people with heart and lung disease at greater risk
Unvaccinated individuals 65 and older and people with chronic conditions are at a greater risk of flu complications. Conditions include but are not limited to:
- Lung disease – People with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are at a greater risk of being hospitalized with flu complications.
- Heart disease – People with conditions like congestive heart failure may have up to a six-time higher risk of having a heart attack within a week of a confirmed flu infection.
Flu and mucus are like oil and water
No one likes to think about mucus. But here’s a game changer. The mucus in your nose – where the flu virus typically invades – contains antibodies called IgAs, which can protect you from the flu.2 Most effective when it’s wet, mucus is at its healthiest when you’re hydrated. So, drink up this flu season.
Flu lingers like a bad perfume
Once the flu virus moves into your house, it’s there to stay for a while. It has a 48-hour life span on hard, nonporous surfaces and a 12-hour life span on surfaces like clothes and tissues. Your best defense: wash or sanitize all surfaces that come in contact with an infected person.
Flu shuns vitamin C
The notion that vitamin C will protect you from the flu is a myth rooted in the 1970s. However, taken in large doses, vitamin C may help reduce the flu’s duration and symptoms. And it can help boost your immune system to fight infections.
Flu likes Fido
Your dog and other pets can catch their own strain of the flu that is species specific. Although there’s no chance of infection between you and your furry friend, your pet may have symptoms similar to humans – sneezing, coughing, and fatigue – so be on alert during flu season.
It’s prime time for the flu vax
September and October are prime time to get your $0 flu vaccine. Visit your PCP, an in-network retail health clinic3, or a Spira Care Center (if you’re a Blue KC member with exclusive access to Spira Care)4 for your flu shot.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022-2023 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary In-Season Burden Estimates. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm. Accessed July 11, 2023.
2Mucus, Our Body’s Silent Defender. UNC Healthcare. https://healthtalk.unchealthcare.org/mucus-our-bodys-silent-defender/
3Visit Find Care on your Blue KC member portal at MyBlueKC.com to locate a PCP or in-network retail clinic near you.
4Spira Care Centers will offer walk-in flu shot clinics and drive-up options at select Care Centers. Look for more information from Spira Care in the coming weeks.