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Elect to protect your health with a flu shot

Given that this year the annual flu season will overlap with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana urges everyone to take steps to prevent the spread of illnesses.

“Get in touch with your healthcare provider now to ask about getting the flu shot if you have not already done so,” said Blue Cross Senior Medical Director Dr. Dee Barfield. “The flu shot is safe and effective, and more people getting vaccinated can prevent overwhelming our healthcare system as we are still treating COVID-19 cases.”

Although there is currently no available vaccine for COVID-19, the same preventive steps people have taken over the past several months can effectively lower the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus, influenza virus and other respiratory illnesses, Barfield added.

“Whenever you leave home, wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth, keep at least six feet between you and others, and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer,” Barfield said. “We are getting to the point in the year where seasonal illnesses peak, so it’s very important to be mindful of keeping ourselves healthy and avoiding making others sick.”

Get A Flu Shot

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot each year. It’s especially important for young children, pregnant women, adults 60-plus years old and anyone who has chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease or asthma, as these groups are at a higher risk for severe complications from the flu.

While getting a flu shot is an important part of preventive wellness every year, it will be especially important this year, given the added threat of COVID-19 overlapping with flu season. Flu season typically begins in October and lasts until April or May, with cases peaking in late winter.

Most health plans and Medicare plans cover the annual flu shot for $0 or very low cost. Make an appointment with your primary care provider so you can get your flu shot as soon as possible.

 

For information on what Blue Cross is doing for members during COVID-19, visit www.bcbsla.com/covid19.