Flu vaccinations

Be well by getting your flu shot every year

Because flu virus types can change from season to season, to best protect you from getting the flu, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends you receive a seasonal flu vaccination each year.

If you see an SSM Health provider
Schedule your flu vaccination through MyChart.

If you see a non-SSM Health provider
Contact your PCP's office or get your vaccination at a pharmacy. If you receive pharmacy benefits through a carrier other than WellFirst Health, be sure to confirm insurance coverage for any vaccine provided at your pharmacy.

 

nurse putting bandage on patient

Seasonal flu updates 

You can receive either the injectable flu vaccine or the FluMist vaccine. FluMist is given to you through a nasal spray. Both versions are covered benefits this year.

Visit cdc.gov/flu for the latest information on the seasonal flu—including, how to prevent, symptoms and diagnosis, and treatment.

Ages 65 and over

In addition to the seasonal flu vaccine, we are offering a high-dose flu vaccine (Fluzone high-dose) specifically created for adults 65 and over to better protect this age group from seasonal influenza.

The primary way to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating. Hand sanitizers are also effective.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Avoid close contact with other people with flu-like symptoms.
  • Teach your children these safety tips.

Many patients with flu-like symptoms do not need to visit their doctor. You should call your primary care provider if you are experiencing the following:

  • A fever higher than 101.5 degrees (for adults)
  • A fever  higher than 101.9 degrees (for children)
  • You are pregnant or have any other chronic health condition
  • The patient is under age 2 or over age 65

If you have the flu, isolate yourself from others over the next 2-4 days and drink plenty of clear fluids. You may want to take acetaminophen to help lower the fever.

If you are experiencing a fever along with a sore throat, cough, or runny nose, and you have a chronic health condition; please call your primary clinic.

Antiviral drugs can lesson symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days and prevent serious complications. These are prescription medications. If you are sick with the flu, contact your primary care provider promptly to see if these are an option.

According to the CDC, flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.
The CDC recommends that high-risk groups, those who have contact with or care for people at high risk, and anyone who wants to reduce their risk of seasonal flu (including school-aged children) get vaccinated. The CDC includes the following in their list of high-risk individuals:
  • All children aged 6 months - 18 years
  • Adults aged 50 and older
  • Pregnant women or women who will be pregnant during the flu season
  • Individuals with a chronic disease such as diabetes or other conditions affecting the lungs, heart, blood, kidneys, liver or immune system
  • It is approved by the FDA for use in people 65 years of age or older and uses a higher dose to induce a stronger immune response. This should better protect older adults from seasonal influenza.
  • According to the CDC, it’s estimated that between 70 percent and 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in that age group.
  • It is just as safe as the standard seasonal flu vaccine. Non-serious side effects at the injection site (pain, swelling and redness) were more common because it is a higher-dose or higher-antigen vaccine. However, the side effects were still mild to moderate.
  • Serious adverse events (myalgia, malaise, headache and fever) were comparable to standard seasonal flu vaccine.