NEW ORLEANS, La. – Health experts are predicting an above-average flu season. To help New Orleanians take their best shot against the virus, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has partnered with Blue Krewe, the nonprofit operator of Blue Bikes in New Orleans, to sponsor free rides for flu shots.
“Health officials recommend everyone six months and older get the flu shot by the end of October, and we are offering free rides to make that easier,” said Michael Tipton, head of Community Relations at Blue Cross and president of the Blue Cross Foundation. “We don’t want transportation to be a barrier for anyone to get the flu shot, which is the best way to prevent severe illness.”
Between Oct. 15-30, Blue Bikes riders can use the code BeatTheFlu22 to get one free, 30-minute Blue Bikes ride they can use to ride to their preferred flu shot location. Flu shots are widely available at doctor’s offices, clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores, community health centers and other locations statewide.
“We're excited to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana to provide a fun and convenient way for folks to promote community health,” said Patrick Urbine, Blue Krewe community engagement manager. “From our long-term Blue Bikes members to new riders - hop on a Blue Bike, use promo code BeatTheFlu22, and take a ride on us to your vaccination appointment.”
How To Get Your Free Ride:
1. Download the Blue Bikes NOLA app, which is available in the App Store and Google Play.
2. To redeem your promo code and start your free ride, open your Blue Bikes NOLA app and tap on your name in the upper-left corner. This will pull up a sidebar of account options. Tap on "promo codes," which will take you to the code redemption screen.
3. Enter the promo code BeatTheFlu22 in the field provided and tap "submit." This will give you a free, 30-minute ride.
Each individual rider can only use this code one time through Sunday, Oct. 30. The Blue Bikes free ride codes are only valid for trips within the bikeshare program’s service area.
Show us how you used the BeatTheFlu22 code by posting photos of your shot face on your personal social media, tagging Blue Bikes (@BlueBikesNOLA) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (@BCBSLA), using the hashtags #BeatTheFlu22 and #STRONGERTHANTheFlu.
Riders will be charged the standard Blue Bikes rate of 15 cents per minute plus a $1 unlocking fee for any time they ride outside of the free 30 minutes. All other standard Blue Bikes fees such as out-of-hub convenience charge and out-of-service-area fee apply.
During October, Blue Cross is also sponsoring a pink bike takeover with 50 Blue Bikes featuring special basket designs in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Riders can follow Blue Bikes on social media @BlueBikesNOLA this month to enter a contest for a chance to win a one-year Blue Bikes membership ($300 value).
For more information on Blue Bikes, visit BlueBikesNOLA.com or follow Blue Bikes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @BlueBikesNOLA.
Flu Shot Recommendations
Health officials recommend everyone age six months and older get a flu shot each year. It’s especially important for adults 65 and older, pregnant women, young children and people with long-term conditions like heart disease, diabetes or asthma, who are at higher risk for severe complications or death from the flu.
This year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends adults 65 and older get a higher-dose version of the flu shot for stronger protection than the standard shot. If you are 65 or older, ask your health care provider or pharmacist about getting a higher-dose flu shot.
Blue Cross and most other health plans cover flu shots at $0 or very low cost. For more information about how you can be STRONGER THAN the flu, visit BCBSLA.com/Flu.
In addition to flu shots, Louisianians should make sure they are up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine and appropriate boosters. Last month, federal health officials recommended an updated COVID-19 booster that protects against newer variants of the virus. This booster is recommended for anyone age 12 and older who got the original COVID-19 vaccine or booster at least two months ago. Many vaccine locations give flu shots and COVID-19 boosters, for those who want to get both at the same time.
About Blue Krewe
Founded in New Orleans in 2020, Blue Krewe is a local, community-based non-profit that manages and operates the Blue Bikes program. Recognizing the importance of Blue Bikes as a healthy, equitable, and environmentally-friendly transportation option, local bikeshare enthusiasts - such former Blue Bikes staff, biking and pedestrian advocates, philanthropists and community healthcare advocates - came together to form Blue Krewe. Here at Blue Krewe, we are committed to our mission to provide the Greater New Orleans region with equitable shared micro-mobility solutions that are rooted in and supportive of our community.
The Greater New Orleans Foundation provided critical start-up funding and fiscal sponsorship for Blue Krewe. Blue Krewe's partners include Bike Easy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans. To donate, volunteer or learn more visit www.BlueKrewe.org.
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. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past four years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media @BCBSLA.
About the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF)
With roots extending over 90 years, the Greater New Orleans Foundation has been connecting generous people to the causes that spark their passion. As one of the most trusted philanthropic organizations in the region, we work every day to drive positive impact through philanthropy, leadership, and action in our thirteen-parish region. In addition to grantmaking, we convene people, resources, and ideas to create intelligent strategies and solutions to meet our region’s greatest challenges. We are proud to serve as a vocal civic leader with our partners to ensure a vibrant, sustainable, and just region for all. Learn more at www.gnof.org.