Flu shot and preventing seasonal flu
The flu vaccine helps protect you and your family from the flu
Millions of people get influenza (flu) every year. While it may be common, seasonal flu is a potentially serious disease. It can lead to hospitalization and even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 That’s why it’s recommended to get a flu vaccine (flu shot) every year to help protect yourself and your family.2 The flu vaccine can help:
- Weaken or prevent the flu
- Reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 percent to 60 percent during seasons when the flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses1
Get a flu shot at no cost to you
If you have a UnitedHealthcare health plan, the flu vaccine is covered at 100% for most benefit plans, which means you can get a flu shot at no additional cost to you.
Talk with your health care provider, sign in to your health plan account or enter your ZIP code below to find a flu shot location near you.
Find a flu shot location near you
If you have a UnitedHealthcare health plan, you can get a flu shot at more than 50,000 locations.
Enter your ZIP code and select a pharmacy in your area, then select Find my flu shot to see results within a 20-mile radius from the center of your ZIP code.
Please note: If you're using a screen reader, please select Participating pharmacies, then select a pharmacy to find a location near you.
Seasonal flu and COVID-19
COVID-19 and the flu will likely both be spreading this season, according to the CDC. Protecting yourself from the flu with a flu shot helps reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalization.3 That’s important this year because there continue to be concerns about hospital capacity with the ongoing spread of COVID-19. It may be hard to know if you have COVID-19 or if it may be the flu or a cold, since symptoms are similar. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine will give you the best protection. You can even get them at the same time.3 Ask your doctor if you have more questions about how these vaccines can help protect you.
Who should get a flu shot?
A yearly flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, even healthy people.
It’s especially important for people who are at high risk of serious complications to get the flu shot. If you’re in this group, you may also want to ask about the pneumonia vaccine. These groups include:
- Adults 65 years and older
- Pregnant women
- Young children under 2 years old
- Those with specific health conditions
When should you get your flu shot?
It’s generally recommended that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, according to the CDC. This is especially important because of the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The flu season can last until March or April, so you can still get the flu vaccine later. No matter when you get your flu shot, it will still be valuable to help protect you for the rest of the flu season. Talk to your provider about the best time to get your flu shot. Remember to ask about other vaccines you might need to protect yourself this year too.
What should you know about seasonal flu this year?
Watch as Dr. Mayrene Hernandez, Chief Medical Officer for UnitedHealthcare, answers some common questions about the upcoming flu season.
What's the best way to protect yourself from the flu?
Who should get the flu shot?
Do you need the flu shot if you've received the COVID-19 vaccine?
More ways you can help protect yourself against the flu
After you get your flu shot, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others from the flu and from COVID-19. That means frequent hand-washing, wearing a cloth mask and keeping a safe distance when you’re in public spaces. Here are more ways you can help protect yourself and your community:
If you’re feeling sick, stay home
Wash your hands throughout the day, especially after you’ve been in a public place or if you sneeze or cough
Avoid close contact with others and maintain a physical distance from others when you’re in public spaces
Wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when you’re around others. This helps protect others in case you may be infected
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, like doorknobs, tables, countertops, phones and more