Flu season is approaching and typically runs through May. While the flu vaccine won’t protect you from developing COVID-19, it’s still a good idea to get vaccinated so that you stay as healthy as possible this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following plan of attack:
- Definitely get a flu shot – it will provide the best protection against influenza. Because viruses are constantly changing, influenza vaccines are updated each year to better match viruses expected to be circulating in the United States. A yearly vaccination is needed for the best protection. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
- Avoid being exposed to both viruses – it’s the best way to prevent getting sick. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you get sick, limit your contact with others. Wear a mask. Avoid coughing or sneezing on others. Wash your hands often.
If you get the flu, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs that can make your symptoms milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. The flu can make some chronic medical conditions worse, even if they are well managed. The CDC recommends flu vaccination as long as flu viruses are circulating to reduce your risk of flu illness and flu-related complications.
Where can I get a flu shot?
- At a flu shot clinic hosted by StayWell. The Department of Employee Trust Funds is working with StayWell to set up clinics this fall at various Wisconsin Retirement System employer locations statewide for Group Health Insurance Program members. All clinics will use social distancing techniques to ensure a safe experience for everyone. Make an appointment by logging in to your StayWell account or call StayWell at 1-00-821-6591;
- Schedule an appointment with your health care provider; or
- At your local in-network retail pharmacy. While most pharmacies participate in the Navitus network and can administer vaccines/immunizations, not all of them do so. Your claim for a vaccine/immunization will be rejected if you use an out-of-network pharmacy and you will have to pay the full cost. If the pharmacy you want to use is out-of-network (e.g., CVS), contact your health plan to see if it will cover your claim through the pharmacy under the medical benefit.
For More Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Prevent Flu webpage