Are There Any Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
You may experience mild side effects associated with getting a flu shot or a nasal spray flu vaccine, such as soreness, fever, headache or muscle aches. Side effects generally dont last long and tend to be minor when compared to the symptoms of a bad case of flu.
Can A Cold Give You The Flu
While the cold and the flu are both respiratory illnesses that may share a number of symptoms, theyre caused by different viruses. Colds are most often caused by more than 200 different viruses, while the flu is caused by three types of influenza virus. Also, the effects of the flu are usually more severe than a cold and may lead to more serious complications such as pneumonia.
Will Flu Viruses And The Virus That Causes Covid
COVID-19 and the flu will likely both be spreading this season, according to the CDC. Protecting yourself from the flu with a flu shot helps reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalization.5 Thats important this year because there continue to be concerns about hospital capacity with the ongoing spread of COVID-19. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine will give you the best protection. You can even get them at the same time.5 Ask your doctor if you have more questions about how these vaccines can help protect you.
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Who Should Also Get A Pneumonia Vaccination
Pneumonia is a lung infection and one of the most common preventable illnesses that causes death in the U.S., according to the CDC. Vaccines can help prevent infection by some of the bacteria and viruses that can cause pneumonia, and you can get the flu vaccine and a pneumococcal vaccine at the same time. Children younger than 2 years old, adults 65 or older, those who live with certain chronic illnesses or those who have a weakened immune system are more likely to get pneumococcal pneumonia, a potentially serious illness that could result in hospitalization. Talk with your or your childs health care professional to see if a pneumococcal vaccine is right for you.
Can Severe Problems Occur
- Life-threatening allergic reactions are very rare. Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include breathing problems, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness. If they do occur, it is within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot. These reactions are more likely to occur among persons with a severe allergy to eggs because the viruses used in the influenza vaccine are grown in hens’ eggs. People who have had a severe reaction to eggs or to a flu shot in the past should not get a flu shot before seeing a physician.
- Guillain-Barré syndrome: Normally, about one person per 100,000 people per year will develop Guillain-Barré syndrome , an illness characterized by fever, nerve damage, and muscle weakness. In 1976, vaccination with the swine flu vaccine was associated with getting GBS. Several studies have been done to evaluate if other flu vaccines since 1976 were associated with GBS. Only one of the studies showed an association. That study suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated persons may be at risk of GBS associated with the vaccine.
More facts about the potential side effects of the influenza vaccine.
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What If Im Experiencing Flu
If you are experiencing common flu-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat and headache, one convenient way to get care without having to leave home is by scheduling a virtual care or telehealth visit. Virtual care allows you to connect with a provider on your computer, tablet or mobile phone from the comfort of home.
If you get your health insurance through work, talk to your local health care provider to learn about available virtual visit options. Or to learn more about coverage for 24/7 Virtual Visits with preferred national providers.
What Vaccines Do I Need
Talk to your doctor to find out which vaccines you already have, and which ones you may need.
According to the CDC, adults should receive:
- Flu vaccine yearly
- Tdap vaccine once if not received in childhood
- Td booster vaccine every 10 years
Other recommendations may vary based on your age, health, job, lifestyle and other risk factors as determined by your doctor. For example, those traveling internationally may need certain vaccines to protect against local diseases. Pregnant women may also need new vaccines, such as a Tdap booster for each pregnancy.
Additional vaccines that your doctor may recommend include:
- Human papillomavirus vaccine for adults 19 to 26
- Shingles vaccine for adults 50+
- Pneumococcal vaccine for adults 65+
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What Is A Flu Shot
The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. Flu vaccine causes antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection from the viruses that are in the vaccine.
The seasonal flu shot protects against four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Egg-based, cell-based, and recombinant flu vaccines will be available for the 2021-2022 flu season.
Who Should Not Get A Flu Shot
Talk with a doctor before getting a flu vaccine if you:
- Have a severe allergy to eggs
- Have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination
- Children younger than 6 months of age
- People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever
- People with a history of GuillainBarré Syndrome that occurred after receiving the influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive the vaccine. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.
You can get a flu vaccine at the same time you have a respiratory illness without fever or if you have another mild illness.
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Will The Flu Vaccine Help Keep Me From Getting Sick With Flu
Some people who get the flu vaccine may still get sick with the flu. However, several CDC studies have shown that getting the flu shot may help reduce the severity of illness.3 Here are a few possible reasons you might still get the flu after having a flu shot:3
- If you were exposed to a flu virus before getting vaccinated or before the vaccination takes effect
- Some flu viruses are not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. Since there are many different flu viruses that circulate every year, the vaccine may not protect you from all of them
- In some cases, people do get infected, even with the flu shot. It can depend on your overall health, as people who are healthier may gain more immunity from the vaccine
In any case, the flu shot is still one of the best ways to help protect yourself against flu viruses, according to the CDC.3
Vaccines Covered By Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers three important vaccines as part of its preventive care benefits.
Covered vaccines include the following:
- Flu vaccine: Annual vaccine given in one shot before or during flu season, usually November through April
- Pneumonia vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two shots at least one year apart
- Hepatitis B vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two to four shots over one to six months for people who are medium to high risk, including people with diabetes
Part B also covers vaccines you may need if youre exposed to a harmful virus or bacteria by accident. You might need a tetanus shot, for example, if you step on a rusty nail. Or you may need rabies shots if youre bitten by a stray dog.
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How Much Will My Flu Shot Cost
Flu shots at designated retail pharmacies and clinics are covered at 100% for most benefit plans. Check your benefit plan details or call the number on your member ID card to be sure youre covered at the flu shot location you choose. Remember to bring your member ID card when you visit network providers for your flu shot.
Support For Our Highest Risk Members
Members who are at high risk may be prescribed self-isolation by their provider. We’re here to help those members through isolation and further limit their potential exposure to the virus. The UnitedHealthcare navigation support program provides a dedicated advocate to talk with you and help guide you through the isolation process. They can help you with how to get medications, supplies, food and care. You can also talk with them to learn about available support programs.
Members can access the program by calling the phone number on their member ID card. When you call, let them know your health care provider has prescribed self-isolation.
Based on currently available information from the CDC, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
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Private Insurance Vaccine Coverage
All Health Insurance Marketplaceexternal icon plans and most other private insurance plans must cover the following list of vaccines without charging a copayment or coinsurance when provided by an in-network provider. This is true even for patients who have not met a yearly deductible. Doses, recommended ages, and recommended populations for these vaccines vary:
A new recommendation for serogroup B meningococcal vaccination of those age 16 through 23 years was published in the MMWR dated October 23, 2015. Health plans are required to cover new vaccine recommendations without cost-sharing in the next plan year that occurs one year after this date. Patients should check with their insurance provider for details on whether there is any cost to them for this vaccine.
- Hepatitis A
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis
Check with your patients insurance provider for details of coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans that cover children now allow parents to add or keep adult children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.
If Im Healthy Do I Need A Flu Shot
Even if youre healthy, a yearly flu shot is recommended by the CDC and AMA. In fact, its recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. Its one of the best ways to help protect yourself and your family against seasonal flu, according to the CDC.1
The flu shot has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children.3
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Medicare Coverage For Shingles Vaccine
Shingrix is not the first shingles vaccine, but it is the only one currently on the market in the United States.Instead of using a live virus,the vaccine uses a protein from the virus to trigger an immune response. It is administered in two doses two to six months apart.
This shingles vaccine has been shown to decrease the risk for shingles by 97% for people between 50 and 69 years old and by 91% for people 70 and older. It reduces complications as well. The risk for post-herpetic neuralgia goes down by 91% and 89%, respectively, in those age groups.
Because the vaccine works well, it is important to know if and when Medicare covers it.
Get Your Flu Shot Today
Getting a flu shot is a simple way you can help yourself and others be healthier this flu season. If your UnitedHealthcare health plan is provided through your employer:
- Your flu shot is covered at $0 out-of-pocket1
- You can get a flu shot at more than 50,000 locations
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How Vaccines May Help Protect Your Child Every Step Of The Way
There are many ways to protect kids as they grow. Planning for vaccines is an important step you can take to help protect your child from up to 16 serious diseases by age 18.1 There can be many questions about when and why to schedule vaccines. Here, you’ll find resources to help guide you on what you need to know about vaccines and how they work.
Which Vaccines Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover
Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes referred to as Part C plans, are offered by private insurers for a set monthly premium. These plans bundle Part A and Part B insurance and usually Part D coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans must cover certain vaccines with no copay when given by a healthcare provider who accepts your insurance. The vaccines usually covered are:
Hepatitis A and B
Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis
Check with your insurance provider for specific plan details. Avoiding these preventative vaccines can have serious health consequences. Since you can easily get vaccines at your providers office or the pharmacy, making them a priority is worthwhile.
During the lockdown, routine vaccines have dipped substantially. Its important to catch up on immunizations that were missed, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, tells GoodRx.
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Things To Take To A Doctor Checkup
Be ready for your checkup with these essentials and practical pointers
My health plan ID card. Youll need this to check in at your appointment, so dont leave home without it. Also bring along photo ID, such as a drivers license.
A list of all the medications I take. Include all over-the-counter products, prescriptions, vitamins and supplements you currently use. Some medicines and even natural products can interact with each other. And that can be downright dangerous. So make sure your list is complete your doctor and pharmacist really need to know.
Quick tip: Brown bag it. A list is handy but you can also gather up and bring the bottles and containers to show your doctor.
Health history notes. Its helpful for your doctor to know details about your family medical history as well as your personal health history.
My questions and concerns. It can be hard to remember all the points you want to coverduring your visit. So make a list to bring along. Note any symptoms youre experiencing.
Quick tip: Dont forget preventive care. Ask your doctor what screenings and vaccines are right for you.
A buddy. If you have trouble recalling what your doctor says, it may be helpful to invite a family member or friend. Remember these extras: Take a notepad to jot down the must-remember items. Ask your doctor for a printout of instructions.
Can I Get The Flu From A Flu Shot
This is a popular myth, but a flu shot cannot cause flu illness.4 The most common flu shot reaction in adults may be soreness, redness or swelling at the spot where the shot was given. This usually lasts less than two days. This initial soreness is most likely the result of the bodys early immune response reacting to a foreign substance entering the body. Other reactions following the flu shot may be mild and can include a low-grade fever and aches. If these reactions occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days.
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How Do I Know If Im Protected
Review your medical records with your doctor to check your vaccination status. If your records arent handy, try checking with your parents or caregivers, reviewing baby books, contacting your former school or employer , or your former doctor or clinic. Some state health departments also have adult vaccine registries.
Its also possible to do a blood test to determine disease immunity. However, if your doctor recommends it, the CDC says its safe to get a new vaccine, even if its a repeat.
Which Shots Are Covered By Original Medicare
Original Medicare consists of two coverage areas: Part A and Part B. Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, and Part B covers certain doctors services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.
Part B pays for the flu and pneumonia vaccines, as well as the hepatitis B vaccine for those at increased risk of hepatitis. Medicare Part B also covers vaccines given to treat an injury or direct exposure to a disease or condition, such as rabies and tetanus.
If you have original Medicare you can add drug coverage by joining a Medicare drug plan . Part D plans cover the cost of prescription drugs and many recommended vaccines.
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Do You Need The Flu Shot If You’ve Received The Covid
If youve already gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, it is also recommended and important that you get the flu shot this year. One covers you against the influenza virus, and the other covers you for the COVID-19 viruses. Theyre two distinct vaccines.
Every year, the flu vaccine is different.
This year, we suspect that the cases for the flu may increase.
Once you get the flu shot, it takes two weeks to become effective in your system. So the earlier you get it, the less exposure you have to others who are sick within your community.
More Ways You Can Help Protect Yourself Against The Flu
After you get your flu shot, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others from the flu and from COVID-19. That means frequent hand-washing, wearing a cloth mask and keeping a safe distance when youre in public spaces. Here are more ways you can help protect yourself and your community:
If youre feeling sick, stay home
Wash your hands throughout the day, especially after youve been in a public place or if you sneeze or cough
Avoid close contact with others and maintain a physical distance from others when youre in public spaces
Wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when youre around others. This helps protect others in case you may be infected
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, like doorknobs, tables, countertops, phones and more
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