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Everyone ages 6 months and older should get the seasonal flu shot each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people with the highest risk and in greatest need of a flu shot include adults 65 years of age and older, and people of any age with underlying medical conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes).
Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO plan members can get the flu shot in the following ways:
The flu vaccine is only effective for that year’s flu season. The flu vaccine changes each year because the flu virus also changes slightly every year. Getting a flu shot each year as soon as possible offers the best protection.
The flu is often a more severe illness than the common cold, and can stress the body with fever, vomiting, body aches, fatigue, and other symptoms. If you have a chronic illness (such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease), or take a medication that lowers your immunity, your body may have difficulty recovering from the flu. Adults older than age 65 are at higher risk for serious complications if they get the flu. Even among healthy older people, the flu can result in heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia, and other serious illnesses. For the most up to date information on the flu vaccine please visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.
Research has shown getting a flu shot each year is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. Remember, it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to provide protection, so the earlier in the flu season you get the vaccine the better.
No, the flu vaccine contains influenza viruses that have been killed and cannot cause the flu.
Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about getting a flu shot.
Note: some vaccines may have cost sharing. Please contact Customer Relations for more information.