An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family members from the flu. Flu season begins in the fall months and often continues into late spring. Influenza is a serious illness, which can lead to hospitalization and even death in more serious cases.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends everyone age 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccine. There is only a small percentage of people who are advised not to receive the flu vaccine, including those younger than six months of age or who have certain allergies. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi members can receive the flu vaccine at no out-of-pocket cost from a Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Network Provider or Network Pharmacy.
It’s important to get a flu vaccine as soon as you can since it takes about two weeks to be fully effective. And while it is still possible to get the flu even if you have been vaccinated, the vaccine can help prevent or reduce complications from the flu, which is usually the cause of hospitalization and death in the most severe cases.
Other benefits of the flu vaccine include:
- Protect those around you who may not be able to get the flu shot (people with illnesses or babies younger than 6 months of age).
- Reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do get the flu.
- Protect a woman during and after pregnancy and also protect the baby for months after it is born.
- Reduce the risk of hospitalization from the flu.
- Prevent complications for those with chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
Learn more about how the seasonal flu vaccine can protect you by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.