Your Primary Care Provider
If you’re enrolled in a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act or have almost any private plan, your health insurance will cover the cost of the flu shot. That’s right, no copayment for your appointment just protection from the fluwhether you’ve hit your yearly deductible yet or not.
What Are Other Ways I Can Protect Against The Flu
In addition to your yearly flu vaccine, there are a few other things you can do to protect your family and yourself from the flu. There are daily precautions you can take such as limiting contact with sick people as much as possible and washing your hands with soap and water often. If you have received a prescription for flu antiviral medications, it’s important to take them as directed by your healthcare provider.
But remember, the No. 1 way to protect yourself and your family against the flu virus is to get vaccinated every year.
Clinically reviewed and updated June 2021.
Kaiser Permanente Target Clinics Care You Trust
You can feel comfortable visiting a Target Clinic. We have safety measures in place and are welcoming guests without symptoms of COVID-19, cold, or flu.Clinics are open every day and accept most health care plans. Guests can book appointments online. Kaiser Permanente members can also make appointments by
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Time For Your Flu Shot
Friday, October 16, 2020
Flu vaccinations for the 2020-2021 flu season are now available at many pharmacies and providers offices. There are many good reasons why you need a flu shot this year including UCs new flu vaccination requirement for UC students, faculty and staff.
All UC medical plans which cover faculty, staff and retirees include coverage for flu vaccinations at no cost to those covered by the plan, as long as you follow your plans guidelines. Heres a quick guide please call the member services number on your ID card if you have questions.
Seasonal Flu And 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.3 It may be hard to know if you have COVID-19 or if it may be the flu or a cold, since symptoms are similar. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine will give you the best protection. You can even get them at the same time.3 Ask your doctor if you have more questions about how these vaccines can help protect you.
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Is There Mercury In The Flu Shot
Vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose contain thimerosal, which is a mercury-based preservative. These multi-dose vials have a preservative because every time a needle enters the vial there is a risk of introducing bacteria or fungi, which could be dangerous. Thimerosal protects the vaccines from contamination. Our bodies remove thimerosal quickly and easily, so it does not stay or build up in our system. Flu vaccines available as single-dose, pre-filled syringes and nasal spray formulations of the flu vaccine do not contain thimerosal.
What Do Seniors Need To Know About The Flu Vaccine
Compared to younger adults, people who are 65 years and older have a greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. It has been estimated that in recent years seniors have accounted for 50% to 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations and 70% to 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths. In addition, seniors typically develop weaker immune responses to the flu vaccine. That’s why there are special flu vaccines specifically designed for seniorsthe high-dose flu vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine.
Compared to a regular flu shot, the high-dose vaccine has four times the amount of antigen, which is the part of the vaccine that triggers the immune response. The adjuvanted flu vaccine contains an extra substance called an adjuvant that helps the vaccine work better by giving you a stronger immune response. Both the high-dose vaccine and the adjuvanted flu vaccine have demonstrated stronger immune responses in persons 65 years and older as compared to those who received the standard flu shot. Note that older adults can get any flu vaccine approved for use in their age group, including standard-dose flu vaccine.
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How Does The Flu Vaccine Work
There are several different kinds of flu vaccines available today. The flu shot is either made with inactivated or killed viruses or no virus at all. The vaccines that do not contain the virus are called recombinant vaccines and only contain certain proteins found in the influenza virus, known as subunits. The nasal spray flu vaccine is made with live viruses that have been rendered too weak to cause any illness. This type of vaccine is called a live-attenuated vaccine. Regardless of which type of vaccine you get, your body creates antibodies that protect you from the flu by attacking the virus.
When Should I Get The Flu Shot
The flu season varies from year to year, but it has been known to start as early as October, peak in the winter months between December and February, and then may continue as late as May. The CDC recommends getting the flu vaccine early in the fall before the flu season begins, ideally no later than the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to build up the antibodies against the flu. It’s better late than never, though. Even if you don’t get the flu vaccine until January or later, you can still benefit from it.
It’s important to get the flu vaccine every year because both you and the flu virus change. The antibodies that you create to build immunity to the flu will decrease with time, so you need a new vaccine to renew your supply of antibodies. The flu viruses are also constantly changing, which is why there is a new formulation every year.
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Who Should Get A Flu Shot
The CDC recommends a yearly flu shot for almost all adults and children 6 months of age and older unless you’ve had a severe, life-threatening reaction to a flu shot in the past, which is rare. Talk with your doctor about whether the flu shot is safe for you if you’ve had a severe reaction in the past or are allergic to eggs.
While everyone should get a yearly flu vaccine, it’s especially important if you’re age 65 or older because you’re in the age group with the greatest risk for serious complications. Your risk is further increased if you have certain medical conditions, including:
Here Are Additional Flu Shot Resources Outside Of Uhs:
Check with your provider’s health system.
If you have Kaiser Permanente, please visit their website to get information about how to get a flu shot. All Kaiser members can get a free flu shot at most medical centers.
- Kaiser is participating with select retail stores and pharmacies to offer flu shots to members including CVS, Safeway, Rite Aid, Costco, Walgreens and Walmart.
- Check your Kaiser website for participating locations and bring your photo ID and Kaiser membership card.
Sutter Health Walk-In Care Flu Shots are available to anyone over 18 months of age and older at Sutter Walk-In Care, and those 6 months of age and older can get a flu vaccine.
The City of Berkeley Public Health Department also has an Immunization Program that provides flu shots.
Alameda County Public Health also provides flu clinics. No one will be turned away because of inability to pay.
Use MyTurn to find a Flu Shot Clinic near you
My Turn, find and make appointments for flu vaccines in the community.
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Will This Flu Season Be Bad
It’s true that 2020 saw a record-low number of flu cases most likely due to widespread mask-wearing, increased hygiene, social distancing and remote work and school.
Last year’s flu season also “didn’t surge in the numbers that people expected,” said UCSF professor of medicine Dr. Peter Chin-Hong but “it did drag on for much longer.” Whereas a typical flu season peaks in February, Chin-Hong said that last year’s “went from October of 2021 to June of 2022 so, a much longer tail than usually we would expect.”
So what about this winter’s flu risks? Chin-Hong said he and other medical professionals are “worried for several reasons.”
Along with the lifting of COVID restrictions, there’s the fact that Australia has just had its worst flu season in five years. Because the continent’s winter happens during the United States’ summer, Australia’s flu season is traditionally an indicator of how bad ours might be and, of concern, it was as “robust as any of the pre-pandemic flu seasons,” said Chin-Hong.
Dr. Michael Kim, vice president of medical affairs for MarinHealth, echoes these particular worries in the context of the lifting of COVID safety measures.
“I think we’re all concerned that flu season this year might be particularly severe, especially since people are not masking as much, as well as people haven’t been exposed to flu as much in the last couple of years, said Kim.
Are There Medicines To Treat The Flu
People diagnosed with the flu or with suspected flu infection and at high risk of serious flu complications should seek treatment immediately.
There are prescription medications available that can lessen fever and flu symptoms, shorten the length of flu illness, and reduce the risk of complications. It is best if they are taken within 2 days of the start of flu symptoms.
The four FDA approved prescription medications for the treatment of flu are oseltamivir phosphate , zanamivir , peramivir , and baloxavir marboxil .
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Flu Shots In Your Community
No-cost flu vaccines are available at retail pharmacies and urgent care locations from . Find an in-network community care provider by choosing a location in the drop down menu of the VA locator. Choose from one of nearly 70,000 in-network retail pharmacies and urgent care/walk-in locations to get your flu shot.
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What Are The Flu Vaccine Side Effects
Common flu shot reactions include redness, soreness or swelling in the area where the shot was administered. The nasal spray could cause different side effects, such as runny nose, sore throat or a cough. These side effects are usually mild and short-lived.
Some people may also develop a low-grade fever or body aches. Similar to the other side effects, these symptoms are usually mild and quickly go away on their own. While some of these side effects may feel flu-like, it’s important to remember that flu vaccines will not make you sick with the flu.
Allergic reactions to the flu shot are rare.
When Should You Get Your 2022 Flu Shot
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim lives across the country, the flu remains a potentially serious threat to your health.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, annually, the flu caused 140,000-710,000 hospitalizations and 12,000-52,000 deaths between 2010 and 2020. But the organization says that in the 2020-2021 flu season, only around half of adults got a flu shot.
Getting a flu vaccine can prevent you from getting sick with the flu, which is a draining, unpleasant experience even if your symptoms are not severe. And if you do get the flu, having a flu shot can also stop you from getting sick enough to have to go to the hospital .
The CDC says the flu vaccine also offers other potential health impacts, such as being associated with lower rates of certain cardiac events for people who have heart disease. It’s also the best, safest way not only to protect yourself against the influenza virus, but also to minimize the chance you will spread it to others folks who could be at far higher risk for serious complications or even death if they were to become infected. Read more from the CDC about what the flu shot can do for you.
And read on to find out whether you should be getting your flu shot right now, and where to find free or low-cost flu shot options near you.
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What Is The Flu
Influenza is a respiratory illness, which means that it affects your airways. It is spread easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing and even talking. When you get the influenza virus, it sometimes takes one to four days before you start noticing symptoms. This means that you could spread the flu to those around you before you even know that you’re sick. Adults may be able to spread the flu for up to seven days after first becoming sick, and children may continue to spread the flu for even longer.
Can You Get The Flu From The Flu Shot
No, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccines. Flu vaccines given with a needle are made with either inactivated viruses or with only a single protein from the flu virus. The nasal spray vaccine contains live viruses that are weakened so that they will not cause illness.
While some people may experience a low-grade fever or body aches as a side effect, that does not mean the vaccine gave them the flu. For example, if you got sick with the flu shortly after receiving a flu vaccine, it means you were exposed to the flu before your body had the chance to fully develop the antibodies needed. It takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccine before you’re protected against the influenza virus.
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If I Have Risk Factors For Severe Flu What Kind Of Flu Shot Should I Get
If you’re age 65 or older, there’s something new for you to know this flu season: There are now three types of flu vaccines it’s recommended you get, because they’ll be even more effective for you than a regular flu shot.
Chin-Hong said folks in this age group should seek out these three types of vaccines because you’ll be getting “essentially a high-dose shot” or a vaccine that contains an “adjuvant” which, in simple terms, “makes the flu shot more powerful in terms of waking up the immune system,” he said. Read more about the three kinds of flu shots available to people age 65 and older.
Pregnant people can get a regular flu shot, although there are some types of flu vaccine that are off-limits to pregnant people. The CDC says that getting vaccinated when you’re pregnant will not only help protect you from the flu, but also if your baby is born during the immunity period protect your infant in the first few months of their life, when they’re too young to get vaccinated themselves.
This benefit to the baby is also the reason that pregnant people are one of the few groups who might want to consider getting a flu shot early, instead of waiting to ensure their baby isn’t left completely unprotected for those first six months after birth, when they can’t get a vaccine. Read more about the benefits of getting a flu shot if you’re pregnant.
What Are The Prices For Vaccines At Walgreens
The amount you spend out of pocket for a vaccine depends on several factors. If you have insurance, you may have responsibility for part of the cost or you may not have to pay anything for certain vaccinations.
Where you live also can impact what you pay for a vaccine, even at the same retailer. For example, a Walgreens pharmacy in Alaska may charge a different cash price than a Walgreens pharmacy in California or a Duane Reade pharmacy in New Jersey.
Here is how out-of-pocket costs compare at Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacies in four states:
Walgreens Pharmacy: Las Vegas, Nevada
HPV: $297 per dose
Flu : $77
Flu : $43
Duane Reade Pharmacy: New York City
Flu : $43
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Kaiser Permanente Walgreens Experience Flu Vaccine Shortages
SAN FRANCISCO –Kaiser Permanente and Walgreens reported Friday afternoon that they are experiencing shortages of flu vaccine amid a spike of reported flu cases and news of recent flu-related deaths.
Walgreens said it expects to be restocked within the next day or two, while Kaiser said it has ordered additional doses of the vaccine, which it expects to be available Monday.
As late as Thursday, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention had no reports of flu vaccine shortages within in the nine-county Bay Area.
“We did a census of vaccine availability throughout the county and it’s reassuring that there’s plenty of vaccine available,” Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said at the time.