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Seasonal Flu Vaccination: More Important Than Ever

Dec 16, 2020
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With so much focus on COVID-19 precautions, the seasonal flu could escape many peoples’ minds. But health experts want everyone to pay more attention than ever to preventing influenza this year. And, it's not too late to get a flu vaccination.

In an August 4, 2020 report on National Public Radio, Mark Thompson, an epidemiologist in the Influenza Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said, "No year is a good year to get the flu, but this year — with COVID-19 also raging — it's especially bad.” He noted that "People who can avoid the flu will help reduce the burden on a U.S. health care system already overwhelmed by COVID-19.”

Fortunately, the medical industry is taking many extra ounces of prevention by making millions more vaccine doses available this year, according to the CDC. Flu season can begin as early as October. It usually peaks between December and February, and can run as late as May. As with every year, everyone aged 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine in the early fall, and vaccinations are available into January or later.

All of Community Health Options plans cover the cost of a flu vaccine administered by your primary care provider (PCP) and your children’s pediatrician, for children age six (6) months or older. Most in-network pharmacies offer flu vaccines for adults and children age nine (9) or older. Call ahead to verify hours and availability. Parents with any questions about the flu vaccine and children can click here to read the CDC's guide.

Call your local pharmacy or PCP to schedule your vaccination today. If you have any concerns about visiting a medical facility during the pandemic, we encourage you to contact your provider’s office to discuss what COVID-19 safety protocols are in place. Your health, well-being, and safety are our priorities.

As always, we are here for your health benefit needs. Please contact Member Services at (855) 624-6463, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

SEE ALSO

All voting should be this easy! If you are a Health Options Member 18 years of age or older you can cast your ballot online for the Board Director candidates of your choice. Voters will elect – or in some cases, re-elect – five of the eight candidates running for open seats. The successful candidates will serve a three-year term beginning January 2021.

Election Services Corporation (“ESC”), an independent third party, is conducting the election and has communicated with all eligible voters. ESC established a website for online voting but will also accept hard copy ballots sent by postal mail. Those ballots must be postmarked by November 5; online votes must be submitted by 5:00 pm ET on that date.

If you need additional information about your voting options, contact ESC at (866) 720-4357 or via email at CHOHelp@electionservicescorp.com.

Election results will be announced at Community Health Options’ Annual Member Meeting that will be held via online Zoom meeting on Thursday, November 19, 2020 from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Our guest speaker will be Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, who will discuss Maine’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To join the meeting, go to healthoptions.zoom.us/s/94455576847 using passcode 583469 and webinar ID 944 5557 6847. You can also join by phone at (646) 876-9923.