Protect yourself and your loved ones, get your annual flu shot today!
It’s Halloween…do you want to hear something really spooky? The flu, short for influenza kills! YES you can actually die from the flu. Each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu complications like pneumonia and heart failure and more than 200,000 are hospitalized due to flu.
Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get flu, but the risk of getting flu is highest among children and those with weakened immune systems or chronic conditions. Symptoms like fever, sore throat, muscle aches, runny or stuffy nose come on suddenly and may last several days.
But the flu doesn’t have to be scary. You can protect yourself and your family and you don’t have to go far! Flu shots are available at your nearest CVS MinuteClinic, and there’s no appointment necessary. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages six months and older get a flu shot, including those who were vaccinated last flu season.
The out of pocket cost for a flu shot at CVS MinuteClinic is about $32. The good news is most health plans are accepted, including Medicare Part B which may cover the full cost of a flu shot. Customers will receive a $5 CVS gift card if any part of their cost of a flu shot is not covered by insurance.
While most people use the terms interchangeably, the flu is worse than the common cold with more intense symptoms like fever, body aches, extreme tiredness and dry cough that can last more than a week. The flu can lead to pneumonia, diarrhea and seizures in children, a bacterial infection and an overnight stay at the hospital.
Health expert say a flu shot can reduce the chance of becoming infected by influenza by more than 70%. And even if you received a flu shot last year, immunity from influenza declines over time, so you’ll still need a flu shot for the best protection against catching the flu. The flu vaccine also helps prevent spreading flu from person to person.
Myths and Facts
The flu isn’t that serious…
Fact: Influenza can have serious results.
Influenza is a contagious disease of the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs) that can lead to serious complications, including pneumonia and the worsening of chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.
I never get the flu…
Fact: Influenza strains changes each year. Even if you were immune to influenza strains circulating in the past, you may not be immune to new strains that emerge this season. The best way to help protect yourself from new influenza strains is to get vaccinated.
I might catch the flu from the flu vaccine…
Fact: Flu shots can’t give you the flu. Injectable flu vaccines are made from influenza viruses that have been killed, and a killed virus cannot give you the flu.
What’s the big deal if I don’t get the flu vaccine…
Fact: Not getting a flu shot could impact your family, friends, and all others around you. The CDC recommends the flu shot for adults, anyone with a chronic condition like asthma, diabetes, and heart or blood disorders, pregnant women, people age 50 years and older and children age 6 months up to their 19th birthday.
The flu vaccine becomes effective about 2 weeks after it’s given, so now is the perfect time to gear up for the upcoming flu season! Head to your nearest CVS MinuteClinic for your flu shot.
Disclosure: I participated in the Flu Shots for the Family campaign sponsored by CVS MinuteClinic. I received a voucher for a free flu shot and gift card. As always my opinions are always my own!