BATON ROUGE – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana urges all Louisianians older than six months to get a flu shot before the end of October.
The best way to prevent yourself and others from getting the flu is to get a flu shot. A flu vaccination can reduce doctors' visits, and the amount of days you miss from work or school, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Blue Cross covers the seasonal flu shot at no added cost for most Blue Cross members.
This year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the standard flu shot, nasal spray flu vaccine or a high-dose shot for older adults before the end of October. Some people should not get a flu shot. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether a flu shot is right for you.
“The flu shot cannot give you the flu,” said Dr. Vindell Washington, Blue Cross chief medical officer and senior vice president. “Parts of dead flu virus cells are used to make the vaccine. Please don’t let this common misconception stop you from taking this important step in preserving your health”
Dr. Washington talks about the importance of getting your flu vaccine in this video.
Remember, anyone can get the flu, even healthy people, and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age.
Adults ages 65 and older, very young children, pregnant women and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease) are most at risk for serious illness or death because of the flu, but everyone can help protect those people by getting vaccinated against flu.
According to the CDC, flu activity in the United States is currently low, but is expected to pick up in fall. The CDC called the 2017-2018 a high-severity season. with geographically widespread flu activity.
Along with getting a flu shot, Blue Cross recommends you take steps every day to prevent getting the flu. These include staying away from sick people, covering your mouth when you cough and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you feel sick, even if you haven't been diagnosed with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading illness to other people.
If you have flu-like symptoms, see a doctor or healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Remember, you can have online doctor visits 24/7 with BlueCare, Blue Cross’ telehealth service, using a computer, smartphone, tablet or any device with internet and a camera.
BlueCare is convenient and costs less than going to the ER or urgent care to treat flu symptoms and other non-emergency health needs. Doctors can give prescriptions through BlueCare. To sign up, go to BlueCareLA.com or get the BlueCare (one word) app for Android and Apple devices.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the communities we serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of Louisianians through more than 200 charitable organizations.
With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid Managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with offices in every major region to serve our customers.
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying non-profit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.