Flu shot and preventing seasonal flu
The flu vaccine helps protect you and your family from the flu
Millions of people get influenza (flu) every year. While it may be common, seasonal flu is a potentially serious disease. It can lead to hospitalization and even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 That’s why it’s recommended to get a flu vaccine (flu shot) every year to help protect yourself and your family.2 The flu vaccine can help:
- Weaken or prevent the flu
- Reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 percent to 60 percent during seasons when the flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses1
Find where to get a flu shot at no cost to you
If you have a UnitedHealthcare health plan, you can get a flu shot at more than 50,000 locations. And the flu vaccine is covered at 100% for most benefit plans, which means you can get a flu shot at no additional cost to you.
Talk with your health care provider, sign in to your health plan account or choose from the options below to find a flu shot location near you.
Find a flu shot location if you have:
The flu shot is more important than ever this year with COVID-19
COVID-19 and the flu will both be spreading this season, according to the CDC. Protecting yourself from the flu with a flu shot helps reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalization. That’s important this year because there continue to be concerns about hospital capacity with the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
Who should get a flu shot?
A yearly flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, even healthy people.
It’s especially important for people who are at high risk of serious complications to get the flu shot. If you’re in this group, you may also want to ask about the pneumonia vaccine. These groups include:
- Adults 65 years and older
- Pregnant women
- Young children under 2 years old
- Those with specific health conditions
When should you get your flu shot?
It’s generally recommended that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, according to the CDC. This is especially important because of the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The flu season can last until March, so you can still get the flu vaccine later. No matter when you get your flu shot, it will still be valuable to help protect you for the rest of the flu season. Talk to your provider about the best time to get your flu shot. Remember to ask about other vaccines you might need to protect yourself this year too.
More ways you can help protect yourself against the flu
After you get your flu shot, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others from the flu and from COVID-19. That means frequent hand-washing, wearing a cloth mask and keeping a safe distance when you’re in public spaces. Here are more ways you can help protect yourself and your community:
If you’re feeling sick, stay home
Wash your hands throughout the day, especially after you’ve been in a public place or if you sneeze or cough
Avoid close contact with others and maintain a physical distance from others when you’re in public spaces
Wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when you’re around others. This helps protect others in case you may be infected
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, like doorknobs, tables, countertops, phones and more