A September to remember your flu shot

September 07, 2022
woman getting a flu shot

It’s been a long, hot summer and you may be looking forward to a cozy fall. It’s a great time to invite friends over to watch a game, curl up under a blanket with a book or get back into a healthy routine.

One way to jumpstart that routine is to get a flu shot. Now is the best time to prepare your immune system for what’s to come.

Did you know that only about half of Americans get the annual vaccine, and that number dropped even lower during the pandemic? With people socializing and traveling again, and children back in classrooms, there could be an even larger spread. And, we have a strong chance that this year’s flu could be serious. Historically, more severe flu seasons follow lighter ones, and these past few were mild.

The easiest way to avoid getting sick with the flu is to get your flu shot. 

What’s new?

Everyone else 6 months and older (with a few exceptions) can get the standard vaccine. The HealthSelect plans cover all options at 100%, as long as you see an in-network provider. Be sure to follow your PCP’s recommendations for what type of shot to get.

Why vaccinate?

Every year, flu sickens millions, kills tens of thousands and sends hundreds of thousands of people to the hospital. It is particularly deadly in children, and the risk of complications is highest among seniors. Getting sick can mean days or weeks staying home from work or school and avoiding friends and family.

The flu shot can prevent you from getting the flu at all. It helps protect you from spreading it to others. If you do get sick, being vaccinated usually means your symptoms won’t be as severe and lowers your risk of complications.

What are flu's symptoms?

Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. You might also be infected and contagious but have no symptoms.

You may feel some or all of these:

  • fever or feeling feverish/chills,
  • cough,
  • sore throat,
  • runny or stuffy nose,
  • muscle or body aches,
  • headaches,
  • tiredness and/or
  • vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children).

How do I get my vaccine?

If your employer offers an on-site vaccination clinic, that might be the easiest and quickest way to get vaccinated. Just make sure the providers are in the HealthSelect network. You can also get a shot at your doctor’s office, at an in-network pharmacy or at a retail health clinic such as in a grocery store. As a HealthSelectSM medical plan participant, you can get the flu shot at no cost to you when you go to an in-network provider. For help locating in-network providers, call a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. CT. 

HealthSelect Prescription Drug Plan administered by OptumRx covers routine vaccines at 100% when you use a network pharmacy. To learn more about the flu and ways to prevent it, check out Flu Awareness & Prevention under Member Education on www.HealthSelectRx.com.

Questions about your pharmacy benefits? Call an OptumRx customer care representative toll-free at (855) 828-9834, TTY 711.

Don’t forget COVID-19. It’s still here.

And if you haven’t gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 yet, it’s a good idea to do that, too. It is safe to get both a flu shot and a COVID shot at the same time. Anyone, with or without health insurance, can get a no-cost COVID-19 vaccines. Visit www.vaccine.gov to find a COVID-19 vaccination site.