With fall and winter approaching, the last thing you need is to catch the flu. That’s why it’s important to get vaccinated—it’s your best defense against the flu. But, how do you know when to get a flu shot and where can you get one? Listed below are answers to some of your frequently asked questions about the flu vaccine.
Why do I need to get the flu vaccine?
Getting your flu vaccine will decrease your chances of getting sick from the flu. If you do get the flu, it can help reduce the severity of your illness and the risk of hospitalization. It also helps to protect the people around you especially those who are at increased risk of severe illness, such as infants, children, elderly and those with chronic health conditions.
Where can I get the flu vaccine?
You can get the flu vaccine at your provider’s office. If you cannot get the flu vaccine at your provider’s office, you can get it at most retail pharmacies. You may need to pay for the vaccine out-of-pocket at retail pharmacies and then submit a reimbursement form to Hill Physicians. If you have difficulties getting to your provider’s office or a retail pharmacy, you can ask your health plan if they provide transportation services. If not, you can dial 211 to locate additional assistance.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
Everyone ages 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine. Except for people with severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine.
When should I get the flu vaccine?
The best time to get the flu vaccine is in September or October before the peak of flu season. If you do not get the flu vaccine in September or October, it is still important to get it so you and others are protected during the winter months when the flu virus is still active.
Should I get my flu vaccine early this year (i.e., August)?
No, if you get your flu vaccine too early, it may lead to reduced protection against the flu during the later part of the flu season, especially for older people.
What types of flu vaccines are there?
Flu vaccines are available as a shot or nasal spray. Flu shots are for all ages and include a separate formulation for people with egg allergies. The nasal spray is available for healthy non-pregnant people, 2 through 49 years old.
Should I get the flu vaccine if I am pregnant?
Yes, all pregnant people are recommended to receive the flu vaccine during any trimester. It is the best protection for both you and your baby against severe flu illness and its complications. In addition, getting immunized during pregnancy helps protect your baby from the flu during the first few months of life.
Does it matter which flu vaccine I get?
As long as you get the appropriate vaccine for your age, it does not matter which vaccine you get.
How do I get reimbursed for an out-of-pocket cost for the flu vaccine?
HMO members are eligible for reimbursement for the flu vaccine. Simply fill out our online reimbursement form to submit it through our website, or print our HMO member reimbursement form and follow the instructions to submit it by mail.
Will the flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?
No, the flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19.
Can I get the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
Yes, you can get both vaccines at the same time.
Is it possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?
Yes, it is possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, although it is not known how common this is.
Where can I find more information about the flu and COVID-19?
For more information about the 2023-2024 flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.