Flu Vaccines

Watch this short video to hear why SCAN's health professionals recommend our members get a flu shot.

Trishina Blount Logeman

Get your flu shot today!

As an older adult, you’re twice as likely to be hospitalized for the flu. Even if you get sick, the flu shot can significantly lower your chances of being hospitalized.

Keep yourself healthy and independent by getting your flu shot. The sooner the better as it can take two weeks for the vaccine to give you full coverage. Get your shot at your doctor's office or at a pharmacy.

While you're there, be sure to check to see if you’re due for the COVID-19 vaccine, too. There’s no cost for either of these vaccines. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it's safe to get both at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Flu Shot

Q: Why should I get a flu shot?

The flu can be a serious condition that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Even healthy people can get the flu and spread it to others. And because the flu strain is different each year, you need to have that season's flu vaccine.

The flu shot has also been shown to reduce the number of hospitalizations from flu-related complications in people with chronic conditions. If you have COPD, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease, here’s how getting a flu shot can protect you:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): When you get the flu, the virus attacks the lungs—making it harder to breathe. A flu shot reduces serious complications and your odds of being hospitalized.
  • Diabetes: The flu virus adds stress to your body, which affects your blood sugar levels. By getting your flu shot, you lower the risk of diabetic complications and having to go to the hospital.
  • Heart disease: The flu shot has been shown to reduce flu-related cardiac events that may result in damage to the heart.
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD) & ESRD: CKD weakens your immune response to infections, making you more likely to get severely ill. By getting a flu shot, you’re less likely to get a lung infection from the flu.
Finally, when you get the flu shot, you're not only protecting yourself from the flu, but you’re also preventing the flu from being passed onto others, especially those who are high risk.

Q: When should I get my flu shot?

The flu season typically starts as early as September and can last as late as March.

Flu shots begin being offered in late summer. Because it can take several weeks for the vaccine to begin working, we recommend getting the shot as early as possible.

Q: Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?

No, flu vaccines cannot give you the flu. While low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches may occur, these are side effects of the shot and not symptoms of the flu. 

Q: I’ve heard the flu shot isn’t always effective. Should I still get one?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu shot is estimated to be 40 percent to 60 percent effective every year.

While it’s true that getting the vaccine isn’t a guarantee you won’t get sick, it can still protect you. And even if you get the flu, it can make the symptoms less severe and help you avoid serious complications.

Health officials strongly recommend getting the flu shot every year. We hope you’ll take advantage of your SCAN coverage and get your shot this flu season.

Q: Does the flu shot have side effects?

You may experience mild side effects, like soreness in the arm where you had the shot or a mild headache. These side effects usually go away in a day or two.

Q: Are there some people who should not receive the flu vaccine?

People with life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients should not get the flu shot. Likewise, anyone with a severe egg allergy or who’s ever been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome should talk to their doctor before getting the shot.

Q: Do I need to wait between getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine?

According to the most recent guidance from the CDC, flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.

Q: How much does the flu shot cost?

There’s no cost to you at either your doctor’s office or pharmacy. Remember, though, that you might be charged a copayment if you get your flu shot at your doctor’s office while you’re seeing him or her for something else.

Q: Is the flu shot available at all pharmacies?

The flu shot is available at most pharmacies within the SCAN network, but it’s a good idea to give your pharmacy a call just in case to see if they’re offering the shot and when you can come in to get it.

Some pharmacies may have an on-site clinic that offers flu vaccines. Be sure to get your vaccine from the pharmacist at the pharmacy counter and show them your SCAN member ID card. No prescription needed.

Q: Do I have to get my flu shot at the pharmacy?

No, you can get your shot at your doctor’s office. The pharmacy is just another option for you.

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