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This Year, Schedule Your Flu Shot with Your RSV and COVID Vaccinations

Staying healthy means getting the preventive care you need. So, scheduling your flu shot as well as your COVID vaccinations should be a priority for you every year. This year, RSV vaccination is an option for older adults at higher risk due to chronic conditions.  Each of these illnesses can make you very sick, so be sure not to discount their effects as we head into the cold winter months.

Get Ahead of Flu Season

Setting up your annual flu shot is important because the virus changes every flu season, and so the vaccine must be adapted annually to fight specific virus characteristics. In fact, it’s a good idea to schedule your flu shot as soon as it’s available because it takes about 10 days to build up your immunity.  Remember, the flu is not just a cold.

Is Your COVID Vaccine Up-to-date?

As for COVID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests everyone aged 5 and older should get an updated COVID-19 vaccine. Children aged 6 months to 4 years need multiple doses of COVID vaccines. Adults who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated COVID vaccines as well. Ask your medical provider if this applies to you. If you recently had COVID, you still need to stay up to date on vaccinations, but you may think about delaying your next vaccine by three months.

RSV Is Respiratory Threat – Be Prepared

RSV is a third condition for which vaccinations are recommended by the CDC. The RSV virus is a common cause of respiratory illness in infants, young children and older adults. For those aged 60 and older, the virus can cause hospitalization and death if left untreated. Those who are most susceptible to severe reactions to the virus include people with lung diseases, kidney disorders, cardiovascular issues and diabetes.

Take Action!

Talk with your healthcare provider about when to schedule your vaccinations and your flu shot.  You can schedule your flu shot and your COVID-19 shot  at the same time. That makes the scheduling of your preventive care easier.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published recommendations for influenza prevention and treatment.  It’s especially important for children to get their flu shots. A flu shot is recommended for anyone 6 months or older.  These facts are useful for everyone to remember.  Along with children, the vaccine is a key health consideration for people over 65 and anyone with a pre-existing condition, like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease. Pregnant women should also get the shot, because it protects both mom and baby (after birth) from the flu.

If you need to find a provider with whom you can discuss your need for the flu, COVID and RSV vaccinations, please click here and you’ll find HAP’s extensive lists of participating doctors and pharmacies.

Truths or Myths about Flu

Finally, a lot of misconceptions about who can come down with the flu and how you contract the flu still exist today despite all the medical knowledge we have. Here are a few of those misconceptions:

  • You can get the flu from your flu shot. Truth: The live flu virus is NOT in the vaccine. And it’s proven to keep you (and others) from getting the flu.
  • Those who are young and healthy won’t get the flu. Truth: We are all vulnerable to getting the flu, young and old.
  • I can only get the flu in the fall or winter. Truth: Doctors see the flu through summer during some years albeit at a much lower rate. 
  • The flu is not much different from a cold.  Truth: The flu can be much more severe than a cold, progressing quickly and resulting in hospitalization.

These truths about the flu go hand-in-hand with some other recommendations. Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often and wear masks if you have an immunocompromised condition. These steps have become commonplace since the COVID pandemic, and they can help everyone stay healthy in the coming winter months along with vaccinations.

Know Where to Get Your Vaccines

Here at HAP, we offer free flu shots to all our members. To get yours, show your HAP ID card at your doctor’s office or visit a HAP-affiliated location such as

  • Henry Ford Health System Medical Center
  • CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid pharmacy
  • Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Meijer, Target, Save-Mor, VG’s, or Spartan store pharmacy
  • Neighborhood pharmacies
Categories: Get Healthy , Get Involved , Get To Know Your Plan