You've probably passed those signs countless times: "Get your flu shot here." Stop ignoring them—flu season is upon us.

You have plenty of good reasons to get your flu shot—it protects you and those around you, for one. And if you don't get the flu, you won't miss out on life because you are home sick in bed or be vulnerable to potentially dangerous flu complications.

For most Regence members, the shot is covered 100 percent by your insurance plan. There is no out-of-pocket cost when you see an in-network provider.

Here's how it works. Just visit your doctor or a participating pharmacy and show your member ID card. During flu season, you can often get shots on a walk-in basis at pharmacies. Or, if you prefer, you can make an appointment with your doctor. Many employers also sponsor on-site flu shots at no charge.

For most members, flu shots are one of the many preventive benefits covered at no extra cost to you. If you're not sure of your coverage, sign in to your Benefits page, or contact us or your employer for details.

Who should get the flu shot?

Flu shots were once recommended mainly for children and seniors. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says everyone over six months of age should get a flu shot each year. That includes pregnant women.

Flu is nothing to take lightly. It lands thousands of people in the hospital each year, and it can even kill you. One flu shot protects you, as well as:

  • Children under six months, who cannot get the shot. They are vulnerable to flu. So are kids between six months and 8 years who haven't had their second flu shot.
  • Parents and grandparents, because most flu deaths happen among those older than 65.
  • Coworkers, because when you have lots of people interacting in close quarters, the risk of spreading respiratory illnesses like the flu increases.
  • People who cannot get the shot. They might have severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine, so they can't choose to get it.

Flu vaccines are designed to protect against the main flu viruses during the upcoming season. You can still get the flu after getting the shot, but it's likely to be less severe if you do.

Timing

Get the flu shot early in the season, which starts October 1. Your body takes a few weeks to form the antibodies that will make the vaccine fully effective. Even if you delay, it's still worth getting a shot. Flu season typically peaks from December to February and can go as late as May.

Options

Not everyone can take the standard flu shot. There are egg-free and nasal spray versions. Additionally, there's an extra-strength version for those older than 65.

Stop delaying and plan for your flu shot today.