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, early vaccination is your best defense.
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.
Small businesses make up 99% of the business community in Maine. The #PayItForwardMaine effort, launched by the Portland Chamber of Commerce and community partners, asks individuals, businesses and organizations to continue supporting local businesses and their employees in our new world of closed storefronts and physical distancing. Your favorite local businesses have been there for you through thick and thin. Now it’s time for all of us to come together and return their service and support.
#PayItForwardMaine is encouraging everyone to consider ways to show their support. That can include spending your time and effort or using the hashtag to share posts, photos, and actions.