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Flu shots and COVID-19

Learn why it's so important to get your flu shot.

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You may wonder if you still need to get a flu shot this year, when COVID-19 is still keeping you out of public places. Learn why it's still important to get your flu shot.

Question:

I hate shots. I heard that the flu shot doesn’t always keep you from getting the flu. I also don’t want to go out in public if I don’t have to. Should I get the flu shot this year?

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Answer:

Some people are ready to go out in public again. Others still work from home and don't want to visit a clinic or pharmacy to get a flu shot. 

Ask your local Optum clinic about how you can get your flu shot this year. Clinics follow strict rules for social distancing and cleaning. But they may also offer other safe ways to get your flu shot.

We're always looking for other safe ways to give flu shots. We're working with experts from:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • State and local health departments
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But this year, like every year, it’s important to get your flu shot any way you can. It won't keep you safe from COVID-19. But it can lower your chances of getting the flu.

And if you still get the flu, a flu shot can help your body fight the illness so you don't need hospital care. It could even safe your life.

We also suggest you get your COVID-19 shot or booster at the same time you get your flu shot. Keep in mind, neither shot will keep you safe from the other illness.

The CDC recommends getting a flu shot before viruses start spreading in your community this fall. Plan ahead, because it takes about two weeks after getting the shot for antibodies to develop. The antibodies help protect you from getting the flu.

Everyone 6 months of age and older, except those with some illnesses, should get a flu shot every year. To learn how to get your flu shot, call your doctor's office.

In health,
Efrem Castillo, MD
Senior Medical Director, Optum

Will Medicare cover COVID-19 tests?

Medicare covers the lab tests for COVID-19. You pay no extra money. Medicare Advantage plans do, too. You pay nothing extra.

Schedule your flu shot today. Don’t wait.

Get your flu shot at an Optum location near you.

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Sources

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.

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