Stick It to the Flu

Now that flu season is here, stay healthy and stick it to the flu by getting your annual flu shot! 

Why get the flu shot? 

  • It lowers your chances of getting sick from the flu (this includes coughing, runny nose, fever, and pains for one to two weeks).
  • It lowers your chances of becoming very sick, having to be cared for at a hospital, and death from the flu virus. 
  • It helps protect family, friends, and other people around you.  This includes babies, young children, older adults, and those with health risks, such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma. 

Who should get a flu shot?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) advises yearly flu shots for those 6 months and older.  A flu shot is even more important for people who have health issues and have a higher risk of getting sick.

Can I get my flu shot at the same time as my COVID-19 booster? 

Yes.  Per the CDC, it is safe to get your flu shot at the same time as your COVID-19 booster.  You can also space the shots a few weeks apart if you prefer.  If you have any questions about getting both shots, please talk with your doctor. 

When is the best time to get the flu shot? 

It is best to get your flu shot in October before the flu season usually begins.  If you are not able to get a shot until November, December, or January, you may still want to get one because the flu season often peaks in February, and flu outbreaks can carry into May.    

What is the cost of the flu shot?

The flu shot is free for VHP members at any plan pharmacy. 

Where can I get my free flu shot? 

  • You can get your flu shot at any VHP plan pharmacy, including any Walgreens, Safeway, Nob Hill, Raley’s, and Costco.  Please set a time in advance, and bring your VHP ID card.
  • For parents with children ages 6 months – 3 years old, please call your doctor. 
  • You can also call VHP Member Services at 1-888-421-8444 or email [email protected] to find other locations.  

Can I get a flu shot if I have COVID-19 or if I am sick?

No.  You should not get any vaccines if you have COVID-19 or if you feel sick.  After you fully recover and have no signs of being sick, then you can get a flu shot. 

Is it safe for pregnant women to get the flu shot?

Yes.  Getting a flu shot can lower a pregnant person’s risk of needing to go into the hospital from the flu virus.  The CDC advises women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season to get a flu shot.

Who should not get a flu shot?

Some people should talk with a doctor before getting a flu shot.  Examples include:

  • People who have an allergy to eggs
  • People who have had bad reactions to flu shots in the past
  • People who became ill from Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting a flu shot
  • People who are feeling sick or have an illness

Can getting the flu shot give me the flu?

No.  However, some people may have side effects after getting a flu shot.  Side effects are usually mild and will often go away on their own within days.  Side effects may include:

  • Low fever
  • A red or sore area where the shot was given
  • Body aches

Will a flu shot protect me from getting COVID-19?

No.  A flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19.  It will lower your chances of becoming very sick, having to be cared for at a hospital, and death from the flu virus.

Will getting the flu shot impact my COVID-19 booster?

No.  The flu shot will not have any effect on how well your COVID-19 booster works.        

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