Blog post by the WA Department of Health
Think of It as Essential
This year, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated against the flu. The flu vaccine can keep you from getting and spreading the flu to others during the COVID-19 pandemic and help keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed. We may not have a vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but we do have one for flu.
When should I get the flu vaccine?
You should get your flu vaccine before the end of October for the best protection through the winter months when the flu is most likely to spread. However, flu vaccines will still be available for several months after October and will still offer protection through the end of the flu season in the spring.
How can I safely get a flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Just like running errands, you should take the same precautions while getting your flu vaccine to keep you and your family safe from COVID-19 and other illnesses. Be sure to wear a face covering, wash your hands often, and stay six feet away from others while you are out.
Clinics and pharmacies are also following special safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, there may be options like drive-through vaccination clinics, or you may be asked to wait outside or in your car until your appointment time to limit the number of people in the building. Call your clinic or pharmacy and ask what kind of safety procedures they follow.
Some grocery stores have also created special hours for adults over 65 and people with compromised immune systems, and those hours may be a safer time for you to visit the pharmacy for a vaccination.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
You can visit your local doctor’s office, pharmacy or clinic event in your area. Visit www.vaccinefinder.org to find a flu vaccine location near you.
Does my insurance cover the flu vaccine?
Most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare part B, cover the cost of flu vaccine for adults. If you do not have insurance, you may still be able to get the flu vaccine at no cost. Talk to your local health department for more information.
Children aged 18 and under in Washington can get a flu vaccine and other recommended vaccines at no cost. The provider may charge an administration fee to give the vaccine. You can ask them to waive this fee if you cannot afford it.