CVS MinuteClinic Flu Shots for the Family Campaign. Flu season is underway and both parents and school administrators are gearing up for runny noses and sick kids. The good news is that you can try to head off the inevitable by getting your flu shot now at the CVS MinuteClinic. It’s a great resource to help your family stay healthy this flu season. Education is key! Learn more about the flu vaccine and some of the myths associated with the vaccine.
What is the “flu”, anyways? The flu is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. It can develop very quickly and with flu, you always have a fever. Other common symptoms include headache, sore throat, dry cough, stuffy or runny nose and muscle aches.
How can I protect myself and my family? Vaccination is the first line of defense against the flu. Eating right, exercising and getting plenty of rest can also help, but the single most effective way to avoid getting the flu to get a seasonal flu shot!
How serious is it? Certain people are at greater risk for complications with the flu, including seniors, young children, pregnant women and those with certain health conditions like asthma or diabetes. A misdiagnosed flu can lead to complications, so if you are unsure if it’s the flu or a cold, see your doctor or MinuteClinic practitioner.
Who should get the shot? Since getting a seasonal flu vaccine is the single most effective way to prevent getting the flu, the CDC recommends that anyone ages six months or older be vaccinated, including those who were vaccinated last season.
How long is the flu contagious? The flu can be passed on even before someone realizes they’re sick, since most healthy adults can infect others 1 day before and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. Children or those with weakened immune systems, that period is even longer.
There are several options available for flu shots:
– Regular seasonal flu shot
– Intradermal shot for those who might be squeamish about needles (approved for adults 18-64; this may or may not be covered by insurance)
– High dose vaccination for customers 65 years and older (provides an elevated level of antigens, which can create a stronger immune response in seniors)
MinuteClinic vaccinates patients 18 months and older. If you have a child between 6 and 18 months, they should receive their vaccination from a pediatrician.Will it be covered by insurance? Health insurance plans, including Medicare Part B, typically cover the full cost of a flu shot, and MinuteClinic accepts most insurance! They also accept cash payment.
And…BONUS! Customers will receive a 20% off CVS/pharmacy Shopping pass when they get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic.
Flu Vaccination Myths:
I only need to be vaccinated once. MYTH! A new flu vaccine is developed each year to fight the strains that are most likely to be prevalent for the season, so it’s important to get your flu shot each year.
People start getting sick once cold weather hits, so it’s too early to get my shot. MYTH! The CDC recommends to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available, ideally by October (outbreaks can happen before Halloween!). It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in your body to provide protection, so it’s not too soon.
I’ve heard you can get sick from a flu shot. MYTH! It’s actually impossible, since the vaccine is made from an inactivated (dead!) virus, so it cannot give you the flu. If you get flu-like symptoms after getting your flu shot, it’s likely that you were exposed to the flu after you got vaccinated but before the vaccine took effect, which can be up to two weeks.
(The only real side effect of the flu vaccine might be soreness or redness where the shot was administered!)
Try some of these daily tips to keep healthy and help to prevent cold and flu:
– Wash your hands with soap and water often, especially after you cough or sneeze.
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, and discard of the tissue in the trash. Sneeze into your sleeve if a tissue is not available.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs can spread easily that way.
– Avoid contact with those who are sick. Flu is thought to be mainly spread from person-to-person contact (coughing and sneezing doesn’t help!).
– If you’re sick, stay home from school or work to keep others from getting infected.
If you are thinking about flu shots for yourself and your children, be sure to check with your family pediatrician to ensure a flu vaccine is the right choice for your family. Clearly, flu shots aren’t for everyone, but if you are a believer in the benefits of flu shots as I am, you are in luck as the CVS MinuteClinic has options for a quick, appointment-free flu shot.
Disclosure: I have received promotional consideration from MinuteClinic