Don’t let the flu get you down this year

September 06, 2023
smiling woman with bandage on arm over immunization

It takes about two weeks for a flu shot to give you the highest level of protection. That’s why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people get a flu shot in September or October before flu season is in full swing. Getting the shot by the end of October is ideal, but for those who don’t, getting it later in the year can still provide protection during peak flu season in February.

Why should I get a flu shot?

A flu shot may prevent you from getting the flu, but there are other benefits from the flu vaccine that you may not be aware of. According to the CDC, a flu shot:

  • can lower the severity of the illness if you do get sick;
  • reduces the risk of flu-associated hospitalization;
  • is an important tool for people with certain chronic health conditions; and
  • helps protect pregnant women from getting the flu during and after pregnancy, and also helps protect their babies from the flu in their first few months of life.

People who don’t know they have the flu can still spread the virus. The flu kills thousands of people each year and sends hundreds of thousands more to the hospital. Getting immunized against the flu also helps protect vulnerable members of the community, including people with existing health conditions. Those considered vulnerable have the highest risk of serious, even life-threatening, complications from the flu.

Where can I get a flu shot?

If your agency or higher education institution does not schedule an on-site vaccination clinic for employees, check with your primary care provider (PCP) about getting your shot at an in-network pharmacy or retail health clinic, such as those located in a grocery store.

HealthSelectSM plan participants who need help locating in-network providers can speak with a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT, and Saturday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. CT.

Upcoming HealthSelect benefits webinar

To learn more about how you can make the most of your HealthSelectSM medical plan benefits, join the Blue Access for MembersSM webinar on Tue., Sept. 19. Whether you join from your computer or smartphone, Blue Access for MembersSM can help you:

  • find an in-network doctor, hospital, urgent care facility or mental health care provider;
  • check the costs and quality of doctors and services covered under your plan;
  • check claims status and claims history;
  • request a temporary ID card or save a digital copy to your phone;
  • access valuable wellness benefits;
  • and more!

Register for the September webinar.