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Important Legal Information and Disclaimers

Blue Medicare HMO, Blue Medicare PPO, and Blue Medicare Rx (PDP) Members

Health and Wellness

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Flu Shot - Frequently Asked Questions



Q: What do I need to present to receive a flu shot without a copayment?top

A: Just show your Blue Medicare HMO or Blue Medicare PPO ID card to receive a flu shot.

Q: Why was I charged a copayment for a flu shot? top

A: If you only go to the doctor for a flu shot, the copayment is waived. However, if you see the doctor for other services, an office visit copayment may be charged.

Q: Who should get the flu shot? top

A: We encourage most people to receive a flu vaccine. Influenza, or the “flu,” can affect people of all ages as it spreads through the air from person to person. The virus can be as contagious as the common cold and is easily transmitted from people who are already infected. You can also get the flu from those who have been exposed, but have not yet developed symptoms. This means that you can be contagious and not even know it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone aged six months and older get a flu shot. Certain people are at greater risk and are encouraged to get a yearly flu vaccine. These include:1

  • People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu. This includes:
    • People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
    • Pregnant women
    • People 65 years and older
  • People who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications. This includes:
    • household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

Q: Who shouldn’t get the flu shot? top

A: Some individuals should not receive the flu shot without consulting their health care provider first. This includes:1

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs
  • People who have had a severe reaction to a flu shot in the past
  • People who ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe, paralytic illness, also called GBS)
  • Children less than 6 months of age
  • People who are moderately to severely ill with a fever (they should wait until they are recovered)

Q: Can I get the flu from the vaccine? top

A: Contrary to a popular myth, you cannot get the flu from the vaccine since it is made from inactive, dead viruses that are noninfectious. The flu strain changes each year, so even if you received a flu shot last year, you still need to get another one this year to remain protected.

Q: Can I still get the flu after receiving the vaccine? top

A: Yes. Like other vaccines, the flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective and does not take effect until approximately two weeks after it is received. During this time, you will be just as susceptible to the flu as individuals who have not received the vaccination. Still, the best option to prevent the flu is to get an annual flu shot.

Q: Are there any side effects from the flu shot? top

A: The viruses in the flu shot are not active, so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Almost all people who receive the influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. The most common side effects are soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, a low-grade fever and aches. These potential side effects begin soon after the shot is administered and usually last one to two days. Rare side effects include severe allergic reactions. Anyone who is allergic to chicken eggs should avoid being vaccinated, since the virus used is grown in these eggs. If you have any problems after receiving your flu shot, please see your health care provider immediately.

Q: What are the chances that providers will run out of flu vaccines this year? top

A: While there are no guarantees of flu vaccine availability, public health officials have determined that supplies of the vaccine are expected to be plentiful for 2013 and early 2014.



Important Legal Information and Disclaimers

The information on this page is current as of 10/1/2014.

Y0079_6741 CMS Approved 10022014